Implementation Manual Version 3.0
Tropical Ecology Assessment and
Monitoring Network
TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATE (CAMERA TRAP)
MONITORING PROTOCOL
IMPLEMENTATION MANUAL
Version 3.0
May 2008
Cite as: TEAM Network. 2008. Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol
Implementation Manual, v. 3.0. Tropical Ecology, Assessment and
Monitoring Network, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science,
Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA.
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Acknowledgments
This protocol and all other TEAM protocols are collective works. They were
developed and reviewed by numerous scientists, but in this case, especially by Tim
O’Brien, The Wildlife Conservation Society; Leandro Moraes Scoss, Fundacion
Biodiversitas; Wilson Spironello, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas de Amazonia,
Johanna Hurtado, Organization for Tropical Studies; James D. Nichols, United
States Geological Survey; Roland Kays, New York State Museum; and Jan
Schipper, Conservation International.
Jorge A. Ahumada, Technical Director, Tropical Ecology, Assessment and
Monitoring Network, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation
International, compiled and wrote the TEAM Implementation Manual.
Series Editor, TEAM Protocol Implementation Manuals is Sandy J. Andelman, Vice
President, Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring Network, Center for
Graphics and layout by Lorena García Bustos, Tropical Ecology, Assessment and
Monitoring Network, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation
International.
The TEAM Monitoring Protocols are published by:
The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network
Conservation International
2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22202
703.341.2400
TEAM Network online: www.teamnetwork.org
Conservation International online: www.conservation.org
Conservation International is a private, nonprofit organization exempt from federal
income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
CONTENTS
1
INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................5
1.1
Key Technical Terms ..................................................................................7
1.2
Standard Conventions Used Throughout This Document ...............................8
2
SAMPLING DESIGN...........................................................................................8
3
YEAR 1 DEPLOYMENT PLAN ..............................................................................9
4
FIRST YEAR FIELD DEPLOYMENT ......................................................................12
4.1
Assemble a Deployment Crew...................................................................12
4.2
Equipment Preparation and Calibration .....................................................13
4.2.1
Battery preparation ..............................................................................15
4.2.2
Preparation of the camera trap .............................................................15
4.2.3
Case inspection...................................................................................18
4.2.4
Final review of settings and paperwork ..................................................18
4.2.5
Other equipment and supplies..............................................................18
4.2.6
General field guidelines .......................................................................19
4.3
Field Trip to Establish and Geo-reference Camera Trap Points.....................20
4.3.1
Locating the best place for the camera trap point in the field ...................20
4.3.2
Record the spatial location of the camera trap point and mark its location22
4.3.3
Setting up the camera trap at the location..............................................23
4.3.4
Return to the base camp/laboratory ......................................................25
4.4
Upload the Spatial Location of Camera Trap Points ....................................25
4.4.1
Transcribe the data from the camera spatial form...................................25
4.4.2
Upload information to TEAM data repository..........................................26
4.5
Data Retrieval and Subsequent Redeployment of Camera Traps...................26
4.5.1
Preparations for the data retrieval and redeployment trip.........................27
4.5.2
Picking up the camera traps and memory cards .....................................28
4.6
Equipment Examination ............................................................................29
4.7
Equipment Recalibration...........................................................................30
4.8
Redeployment of Camera Traps in the Field ...............................................31
4.8.1
Return to the laboratory/permanent base camp......................................31
4.9
Processing and Uploading of Spatial Data .................................................31
4.10
Processing and Uploading Data from a 30-Day Deployment Cycle ..............32
4.10.1
Transcribe the data from the Camera Trap Form................................32
4.10.2
Transcribe the data from the Damaged Camera Trap Form ................34
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
4.10.3
Create the appropriate computer directory structure to store the
photographs ....................................................................................................34
4.10.4
Transfer the photographs from the memory card to the computer ........35
4.10.5
Process the photographs ..................................................................37
4.10.6
Upload the information to the TEAM Web site....................................39
4.10.7
Backup and store all field forms........................................................40
4.11
Last Field Trip of the Season and Camera Storage......................................40
4.11.1
Preparations for the last field trip of the season ..................................40
4.11.2
Picking up the camera traps and memory cards for the last time in the
season
......................................................................................................40
4.11.3
Equipment check-in .........................................................................40
4.11.4
Camera storage ..............................................................................41
5
POWER ANALYSIS TO DEFINE SAMPLE SIZE .....................................................41
6
PROTOCOL IMPLEMENTATION FOR SUBSEQUENT YEARS ...............................42
6.1
Determine Whether Camera Trap Points Need to be Moved........................44
6.2
Equipment Preparation and Calibration .....................................................44
6.3
General Field-planning Meeting ...............................................................44
6.4
Deployment of Camera Traps in the Field ..................................................44
6.5
Return to the Base Camp..........................................................................45
6.6
Pick Up the Cameras and Redeploy to New Locations.................................45
6.7
Data Processing and Upload ....................................................................45
6.8
Last Field Trip of the Season .....................................................................45
6.9
Equipment Check-in and Storage ..............................................................45
7
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATE PROTOCOL ...46
8
EQUIPMENT LIST.............................................................................................47
9
GLOSSARY OF TERMS.....................................................................................48
10
BIBLIOGRAPHY ...............................................................................................50
11
APPENDIX A1. CAMERA TRAP POINT FORM .....................................................51
12
APPENDIX A2. CAMERA TRAP CHECKLIST.........................................................52
13
APPENDIX A3. CAMERA TRAP FORM ................................................................53
14
APPENDIX A4. DAMAGED CAMERA TRAP FORM...............................................55
15
APPENDIX A5. INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR RECONYX RM45 ..........................57
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
1
INTRODUCTION
This manual describes in detail all the steps and procedures needed to implement
the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring (formerly, camera trap) Protocol. The
methods described here are based on the collective experience of many field
biologists with experience in using camera traps to estimate the abundance of a
range of terrestrial mammal and bird species. The detailed justification for the
sampling design and the basics of the analytical approach are presented in the
Terrestrial Vertebrate Scientific Protocol (in preparation).
Figure 1 shows the general implementation workflow1 for the Terrestrial Vertebrate
Monitoring Protocol. Each step in the process is thoroughly described in this
document. Some steps may occur only during the first year the protocol is
implemented (e.g., sampling design, deployment plan, and first year field
deployment). The workflow contains three main sections, each of which is
separated by conditional (i.e., Yes/No) decision steps:
1. Sampling design, preparation, and submission of the deployment plan.
2. First-year deployment, which includes measuring the spatial locations of
all sampling points, first-year sampling, and analysis to determine a
minimum number of camera trap points.
3. Field deployment in subsequent years, data recovery, data processing, and
data upload.
The details involved in the first-year deployment and deployment in subsequent
years are shown in Figures 3 and 4.
The integrity of the data resulting from the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring
Protocol strongly depends on proper functioning equipment. The protocol uses
digital camera traps. Each digital camera trap stores many photographs and
requires minimal post-processing but adequate care and maintenance. Successful
implementation of this protocol also depends on the expert judgment of the
deployment crew. The crew determines, on the basis of the protocol, where to
place the camera traps and how to set them up. Because of the high equipment
cost and the time lag involved in repairing damaged camera traps, it is imperative
that staff maintain the equipment well, and promptly report damaged equipment
to the TEAM site manager, regional manager, and Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol
manager by e-mail.
1
A workflow is a reliably repeatable pattern of activity or actions enabled through a
systematic organization of resources, defined roles, and information flows, into a work
process that can be documented and learned.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 1. General Workflow illustrating the implementation of the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol.
Events that happen during Year 1 are enclosed in a dotted outline.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Become thoroughly familiar with this document and strictly follow all the steps to
ensure that all data from the field site are properly standardized with all other data
for this protocol from the TEAM Network. Consult Section 7 for a description of
the roles and responsibilities of all individuals involved with the TEAM Terrestrial
Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol. Direct any questions, comments, or proposed
revisions to the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol manager (email:
[email protected]).
1.1 Key Technical Terms
The Glossary (Section 9) contains complete definitions of all technical terms used
in this manual; however, for clarity, some key terms, an understanding of which is
essential, are defined in Box 1 and Box 2.
BOX 1: Key terms describing the statistical design and deployment plan
• Camera trap point. A particular spatial location (latitude and longitude)
where the camera trap is located during sampling.
• Camera trap array. A set of camera trap points (usually 20–30) distributed
at a density of 1 camera trap every 2 km2. All camera traps in the array
sample during the same 30-day period.
• Deployment plan. A plan describing when, where, and how the protocol
will be implemented at a specific TEAM site. The plan must contain the
proposed sampling design, including the proposed geo-spatial location of
each camera trap array, potential locations of the camera trap points
within each array, relevant geographic information system (GIS) layers
(shape files) for each array (e.g., topography, access, water drainages),
and a detailed chronogram of activities.
• Sampling design. Refers to the number of camera traps (sample size), their
locations (spatial distribution), the time of year and frequency of successive
sampling periods (temporal distribution), and the length of time the
cameras are deployed in the field during each sampling period (effort).
• Sampling period. A specified period of time (e.g., week, month, climatic
season) during which all camera trap points are sampled. The TEAM
Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol has only one sampling period
per year (during the dry season, see below).
BOX 2: Key terms describing protocol implementation and equipment
• Camera trap. A piece of equipment installed in the field to automatically
take photographs of animals passing in front of it. The camera trap
consists of the camera, a control unit, a sensor and a memory card.
• Camera trap point identification (ID). A unique code, assigned on the
basis of a standard convention to a particular camera trap point (i.e., the
location, not the camera trap itself). See Section 4.3.2 (and the Data
Management Protocol) for the specific convention TEAM uses to label
camera trap point IDs.
• Control unit. An electronic board with a small central processor unit that
turns the camera on and off in response to a signal provided by the
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
•
•
sensor. The control unit can be programmed by a user to specify the level
of sensitivity to movement, the number of photographs the camera takes
when it is activated, etc.
Memory card. A small electronic card that stores the photographs taken by
the camera. The memory card must be installed inside the camera or the
camera will not record photographs; however, it can be temporarily
removed from the camera so that photographs can be transferred to the
TEAM Information Management System.
Motion sensor. A small device mounted in front of and on the outside of
the camera trap that detects movement within the area in front of the
camera. Signals from the motion sensor travel to the control unit, which in
turn, controls the camera.
1.2 Standard Conventions Used Throughout This Document
The following conventions will be used throughout this document:
• Bold text used throughout the document emphasizes critical points.
Sometimes entire paragraphs appear in bold. This means that this
information is critical and needs to be considered carefully. Sometimes
bold text is underlined; this is an additional level of emphasis stronger than
bold alone.
• Complicated procedures are often divided into discrete steps. These are
numbered with a brief description of the step in bold. Sometimes, steps are
divided into sub-steps, indicated with lower-case letters (e.g., a, b, c, etc).
• Names of TEAM standard field forms or Microsoft Excel templates appear
in italics (e.g. Camera Trap Point Form).
• The names of particular variables in field forms or Excel templates are
underlined (e.g., Latitude). Usually, in the text, the name of the field form
or Excel template where this column is located is referred to at the end of
the sentence and in parentheses [e.g., “Fill in the columns labeled Year,
Month, Day, Time, and First Name of the Person Taking the Reading
(Camera Trap Spatial Form)”].
• Descriptive text in bold is used in the margins highlighting different types of
processes/activities to aid the reader: important/critical steps, preparations
before field trips, data entry/upload, use of a GPS is required, TEAM
administrative steps, etc.
2
Important:
a critical
step/process
SAMPLING DESIGN
The sampling design for the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol has
been carefully specified to maximize the probability of photographing an adequate
sample of tropical forest terrestrial mammal and bird species. It is intended to
monitor changes in the community of ground-dwelling, terrestrial vertebrates, and
not to monitor the abundance of individual species. This is an important
distinction. As such, the sampling design represents a compromise between the
level of effort required to detect species that range over large areas (>100 km2),
such as elephants, tigers, and jaguars and the effort required to detect species
with smaller home ranges (~1 km2), such as terrestrial birds (e.g. currasows,
8
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
guans) and smaller carnivores (e.g. coatis, fossas). The design also accounts for
sampling constraints in the field, which may vary in different parts of the world,
and for the logistical tradeoffs of cost versus effort.
A TEAM camera trap sample consists of 60–90 camera trap points, distributed
among two to three camera trap arrays. Each point is sampled over a 30-day
period, once a year, during the dry season and no bait is used to attract animals
to the points. Ideally, all 60–90 points should be sampled simultaneously;
however, this is precluded by cost and logistical constraints. Therefore, the
sampling points have been divided into two or three (depending on the particular
site) camera trap arrays. Each camera trap array contains 20–30 camera traps at
a density of one trap per 2 km2. Each array is sampled sequentially, not
simultaneously; however, all arrays must be sampled within the same dry season.
This means that the first array of camera traps is deployed and remains in the field
for 30 days. Immediately thereafter, the camera traps are picked up, the batteries
and memory cards are replaced, and the replenished camera traps are
immediately moved to the second array, remain there for 30 days, etc. (see Figure
2).
TEAM
administrative
step
The specific spatial layout of the points for camera trap placement in each array is
flexible, but the camera trap density must equal one camera trap per 2 km2. In
very exceptional cases (e.g., where access to a site is very limited or the study area
size is too small) camera traps might be placed at a density of one camera trap
per 1 km2. This is a very exceptional situation and needs to be thoroughly justified
in advance by the TEAM site manager and approved by TEAM technical director.
Figure 2 illustrates some examples of potential spatial layouts for a TEAM camera
trap array. The specific design chosen for a particular site will depend on local
conditions at the site such as elevation gradients, topography, ease of access,
physical barriers such as rivers, and other logistical constraints. A GIS is needed to
design the precise configuration of points for each array. The design must be
submitted by the site and approved by the TEAM technical director before field
implementation (see Section 3). During deployment, the camera traps are placed
as close as possible to these idealized locations. In the best case, the camera traps
are placed in the exact idealized location; however, in some instances, the camera
traps will need to be placed not at the exact location, but at the nearest possible
feasible location where animals are likely to travel. In sites with obvious elevation
gradients, camera trap arrays should be oriented along the elevation gradient
from lowest to highest (Figure 2). If this scheme is followed, the spatial distribution
of the camera trap points should be sufficient to ensure adequate sampling of the
ground-dwelling, terrestrial mammal and bird communities at the site.
3
GIS expertise
required
YEAR 1 DEPLOYMENT PLAN
Using the sampling design principles and guidelines (Section 2), the site manager
develops a Protocol Deployment Plan, which must be approved before any
sampling is implemented. The site manager will need to collaborate with a GIS
technical expert (from the site institution or the TEAM Network office if required) to
map the site, assemble the various spatial layers, and generate the camera trap
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
points. The Deployment Plan should be submitted to the TEAM Terrestrial
Vertebrate Protocol manager at least 3 months before camera traps are deployed
in the field. The required steps for developing the Deployment Plan are as follows:
Figure 2. Examples of potential TEAM camera trap arrays. Each small square is one kilometer on a side and the X
represents the ideal location of a camera trap. A) 20 x 3 km array with camera traps placed regularly along the array. B)
Camera traps are located close to an access trail (broken green line) but placed at the predetermined density of 1 camera
per 2 km2. C) 10 x 6 km array with camera traps placed regularly. In places were there is an altitudinal gradient, the
arrays should be oriented along the altitudinal gradient.
1. Map the site. Use the map of the core study area as the basis for selecting
suitable locations for the camera trap points. The map will display the
anthropogenic, administrative, land use/land cover, and natural
characteristics of the site. The core study area identifies where sampling
will occur. The area will have been selected on the basis of multiple
criteria. Potential problem areas such as rocky outcroppings, steep slopes,
edges, seasonally inundated areas, and large streams will have been
identified and omitted. All access routes, including rivers and trails, should
be identified in the core study area.
GIS expertise
required
2. Generate regularly spaced points or grid cells. To identify potential
camera trap arrays and points it is necessary to first generate regularly
spaced points or grid cells over the core study area. Follow the steps
outlined in Section 5 of Generation of the Sampling Design for All
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Protocols to generate regularly spaced points or square grid cells in a GIS
at a density of (a) one point per 2 km2 or (b) one grid cell per 2 km2 over
the entire core study area (if using a modified study area the points or grid
cells will be generated over this extent instead). These regularly spaced
points or grid cells provide the basis for the location of the camera trap
points within the camera trap arrays.
3. Determine access points to sample arrays. Use the map and local
knowledge to identify access points. Access points are defined as places
were the field crew can access a array of camera trap points from a road,
river, trail, or any other access way. These access points should include
recognizable landmarks such as a mileage post, a dock, or a geographic
positioning system (GPS) waypoint. Enter these into the GIS.
4. Identify potential camera trap arrays and points. Once the various access
points within the core study area have been identified, select 2–3 arrays of
20–30 points or grid cells to represent potential camera trap points such
that (1) they sample a representative portion of the core study area; (2)
they are accessible using the access points identified above; (3) they will
be accessible year round; (4) they are not located along river banks or
other edges; and (5) if possible, they are located in areas with existing trail
systems to minimize disturbance and the need to cut new trails. The points
should be placed at the center of the cells.
5. Extract the camera trap points from the GIS. Once 2–3 arrays of 20–30
points or grid cells have been identified (see Point 2 above), use the GIS
system to produce a list of latitude and longitudes, one for each point, in
decimal degrees using the WGS84 datum. If mesh grid cells have been
used up to this point, a center point per cell will first need to be extracted.
Remember that these latitude and longitude locations represent only
estimates of the potential locations and not the final locations for the
camera trap points. Program these points into a GPS unit to take to the
field.
6. Conduct a reconnaissance survey. With the list of potential locations for
the camera traps loaded into the GPS unit, the site manager should visit
the proposed sampling area to estimate how many camera trap points the
deployment crew will be able to deploy in a day. This number will vary
depending on the habitat structure at the site; in particular, the structure
and density of the understory and the local topography at the site. Where
the understory is relatively open and the terrain is even, more camera trap
points can be visited in a day than sites with a dense understory and hilly
terrain. To obtain a rough estimate of the number of camera trap points
that can be visited (deployed) in a day select a subset of 5–10 points in
the array and attempt to visit the selected subset the same day with the
help of the GPS unit without cutting any new trails. Using the number of
points that could be visited in a day, the site manager should be able to
roughly approximate the number of camera trap points that can be
deployed by day. With this information, the site manager should be able
to realistically plan the deployment of camera trap points, including the
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
order in which points will be deployed, the locations of temporary camps
to optimize travel time to potential points, and the schedule (see below).
7. Preparation of the deployment plan. After completing the reconnaissance
survey, the site manager should have in hand all the elements to prepare
and submit a deployment plan to implement the Terrestrial Vertebrate
Protocol at the site. Remember that Year 1 deployment plans must include
mapped locations for 60 camera trap points distributed in 2–3 sampling
arrays. The deployment plan consists of the following documents or files:
• Written deployment plan. Summarize and justify the rationale for the
chosen locations of the camera trap arrays and points. Prepare a
chronology of activities with proposed occurrence dates. Include the
names of personnel who will conduct each activity within the
deployment plan (see below for field crew personnel requirements).
• Maps and shape files. For each array, submit a map and a shape file
containing the locations of the camera trap points together with
relevant shape files of each layer (roads, elevation, rivers, vegetation,
etc.).
• Locations of points. For each array, submit a list of the points with their
latitude and longitude.
The deployment plan must be submitted to the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate
Protocol manager (email: [email protected]) at least 3 months
before the proposed implementation date.
Important:
a critical
step/process
The final number of camera trap points and camera trap arrays to be used in
subsequent years will be determined by statistical analysis once the data from the
Year 1 implementation are available. The TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol
manager will perform these calculations and communicate the results to the site.
4
FIRST YEAR FIELD DEPLOYMENT
Once the TEAM technical director has approved the deployment plan the first-year
field deployment of camera traps can begin. This process involves 1) assembling
an adequate field crew, 2) preparing and calibrating the equipment, 3) traveling
to each proposed camera trap point and choosing the best site for each camera
trap point, 4) obtaining latitude and longitude readings for each camera trap
point, 5) installing the camera trap in the field, 5) leaving each camera trap for 30
days, 6) recovering all camera traps and memory cards, and 7) organizing and
uploading all photographs and data according to the TEAM Data Management
Protocol.
Figure 3 depicts the major steps in first-year field deployment. The text in this
section is structured accordingly.
TEAM
Administrative
step
4.1 Assemble a Deployment Crew
The site manager in consultation with TEAM technical director should assemble a
deployment crew consisting of the following individuals:
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
1. Deployment crew leader whose primary responsibility is to guide the other
crew members and decide where to set up the camera traps. This person
should:
• Have >2 years experience setting up camera traps in the field
• Be prepared to spend several days in the field (including weekends
and holidays)
• Be trained by the TEAM remote sensing specialist to read spatial
coordinates in the field following the specified standards in the
Sampling Unit Placement Protocol found on the TEAM Web site
• Be able to coordinate, manage, and work with field personnel
2. One to three technicians who will accompany and assist the crew leader
to set up the camera traps. These technicians should preferably:
• Be local people who live in and are familiar with the area
• Have extensive field experience
• Are prepared to spend several days in the field (including weekends
and holidays) without seeing their families
Before you go
to the field…
4.2 Equipment Preparation and Calibration
The Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol depends on the equipment being in
proper functioning order; thus, adequate care and maintenance of the camera
traps is essential. To ensure the highest possible quality and integrity of the data,
close attention must be paid to preparing and calibrating the camera traps before
they are deployed in the field. Start these preparations 1 week in advance of
leaving for the field. The leader of the camera trap deployment crew must follow
these steps to ensure this happens.
TEAM requires the use of Reconyx digital camera traps model RM45 (see Section
8, Equipment List). Due to their rapid response time, infrared flash, multifire
capabilities and unique design for field conditions, these are the only camera traps
approved for the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol. The TEAM
Network office does not approve the use of any other equipment to collect TEAM
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol data.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 3. Workflow illustrating the main steps during the first year of deployment of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol.
The thick arrows show the main steps in the workflow during the first cycle of deployment and pickup of camera traps.
14
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Before you go
to the field…
4.2.1 Battery preparation
Each camera in the camera trap unit requires six Type “C” rechargeable nickel
metal hydride (NiMH) batteries to power the camera.
1. Charging the batteries for the first time. If this is the first time the type
“C” rechargeable batteries are being used for a given year, put them
in a discharging-recharging cycle (conditioning cycle) at least 48
hours before leaving for the field assignment. This ensures that the
battery “memory” is properly set and prolongs the life of the
rechargeable battery. Refer to the battery charger for instructions on
how to put the batteries in this conditioning cycle. Only use battery
charges that have this specification built in (see Section 8, Equipment
List). To minimize the amount of time the batteries need to charge,
TEAM recommends using four to six battery chargers in parallel, each
holding the maximum number of batteries.
2. Subsequent battery charges. If this is not the first time these batteries
are being used, discharge them first and recharge them for at least 24
hours prior to leaving for the field assignment. DO NOT charge the
batteries more than 24 hours before taking them to the field
assignment. Rechargeable batteries tend to lose their charge very
quickly, even if they are not being used.
3. Do not use these batteries for camera set up. Use only a set of six
alkaline type “C” batteries to calibrate the cameras (see next step).
Before you go
to the field…
4.2.2 Preparation of the camera trap
It is crucial that all camera traps are set up correctly and with the same settings to
ensure standardization of the data being collected. Before taking the camera traps
to the field, every single camera trap must be checked, as described below.
Forms needed during these steps:
• Camera Trap Checklist (Appendix A2). The Camera Trap Checklist needs
to be filled out and signed by the crew leader (or delegate) and site
manager (or delegate). The site manager should not authorize the camera
traps to go to the field until the Camera Trap Checklist has been signed
and turned in.
• Camera Trap Form (Appendix A3). Use this form to record the serial
number of the camera trap and the serial number of the memory card in
each camera.
Steps:
1. Wash your hands. Always make sure your hands are clean before
handling the camera traps and memory cards. Small bits of dirt may easily
become lodged in the contact points resulting in a poor connection to the
camera and card failure.
15
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
2. Mark the camera trap. Each camera trap should be externally marked with
a unique identification number. TEAM recommends using the numbers 01,
02, 03, etc. Clearly write down the number in the back of the camera
using a nonerasable, water-resistant pen marker. Write down this number
in the Camera Trap Number column on the Camera Trap Form.
3. Set the date and time. Remove the front cover of the camera trap and
insert six regular or alkaline type “C” batteries (not the rechargeable ones
to be used in the field). Turn the camera on using the ON/OFF switch. If
this is the first time the camera has been turned on, enter the
corresponding year, month, day, hour, and minute, and press the OK
button after each step (see Appendix A5, the Camera Trap Manual). To
set the time, use the time from a standardized time server such as
http://www.timeanddate.com. Enter the name of the city (or closest city)
for the field site location to receive the official standardized time.
Important:
a critical
step/process
VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!
DATE & TIME SETTINGS: IMAGES ARE USELESS WITHOUT AN
ACCURATE DATE AND TIME STAMP.
MAKE SURE THE CORRECT DATE AND TIME ARE SET IN THE
CAMERA TRAP. WITHOUT THIS, ALL RESULTING PHOTOS WILL BE
USELESS!! REFER TO APPENDIX 5, TO LEARN HOW TO SET/VERIFY
THE CURRENT DATE AND TIME ON THE CAMERA TRAP.
4. Record the serial number of the camera trap. Navigate to the Camera
Info menu by using the << or >> buttons, and then press the OK
button. This will display the serial number and firmware version of the
camera. Write down the serial number in the Camera Trap Serial
Number column in the Camera Trap Form.
5. Record information about the memory card. Take out a memory card
from its case and locate its serial number. The serial number is an 8–9
digit number usually found on the back of the memory card close to
the electronic contacts. Write down the serial number in the column
Memory Card Serial Number (Camera Trap Form) in the
corresponding row of the Camera Trap Number column (same form).
Insert the memory card in the slot located in front of the panel below
the buttons.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
6. Set up the camera trap. Navigate to the Change Setup menu of the
camera trap and using a combination of the OK, <<, and >>
buttons, set it up with the following settings (see Appendix A5 for
details):
Setting
Trigger/Motion sensor
Trigger/Sensitivity
Trigger/Number of photos
per trigger
Trigger/Interval between
photos
Trigger/Quiet period
Time lapse
Date/Time
User label
Resolution
Set it to:
ON
HIGH
3
RapidFire
No delay
OFF
Current date and time, temperature in °C
Two-letter TEAM site code – dash – CT (e.g., CXCT) (complete other details in the field; see Section
4.3.3)
HIGH
When finished, check the Correct Date and Time? and Correct Camera Settings?
columns (Camera Trap Checklist).
7. Erase the memory card. If there are any images in the memory card,
erase them. Go back to the Main Menu and navigate to Erase Card
(make sure not to lose any valuable information!). Check the Is
memory card empty? column (Camera Trap Checklist).
8. Replace the batteries. Turn the camera off and remove the six regular
type “C” batteries. Replace them with six fully charged type “C” NiMH
rechargeable batteries. Check the Camera Batteries Fully Charged?
column (Camera Trap Checklist).
9. Test the camera trap unit. Turn the camera trap on, navigate to Arm
Camera in the main menu, and select OK (the camera will be active in
10 seconds). Place the camera vertically (e.g., on a bench) and stand
in front of it at a distance of 2 meters; it should take a few
photographs (navigate to Check Status to see how many photographs
were taken). If the shutter clicks, check the column Camera trap
working? (Camera Trap Checklist). Otherwise, go back to Step 6 and
make sure the camera is set up correctly. This step can be performed
with several camera traps simultaneously by placing the camera traps
along a bench and walking in front of them.
10. Install desiccant. Finally, every camera trap case needs to be fitted with
a pillow of desiccant or moisture control packets (e.g., Zorb-It, 2 × 2
cm; see Section 8, Equipment List). Place the pillow on top of the LCD
screen, turn off the camera trap, and replace its front cover.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Before you go
to the field…
4.2.3 Case inspection
With the camera and the control unit programmed and set, the final preparation
step is to inspect the camera trap case to make sure it is ready to be deployed to
the field. Follow these steps to ensure the case is in proper conditions.
1. Check the camera trap case seals. Closely inspect the case and look for
cracks or other anomalies. Make sure the case is solid and the seals are in
good condition to prevent water entry to the interior. Check all the places
were water can enter (e.g., junction points where the sensor lens, flash and
lens windows, and lock handle touch the case) to make sure the camera
case will withstand wet weather. If junction points seem open or weak, use
silicone sealer to seal them. Only after the case and seals are in proper
shape check the column Case, Seals and Locking Bracket in Good
Condition? (Camera Trap Checklist).
2. Prepare locks. In addition to the bungee cord provided, each camera trap
should have a corresponding cable lock to fasten it to a tree in the field.
Make sure to have the appropriate number of locks and the corresponding
keys for each lock (usually, one set of keys will open three different cable
locks). Test locks and keys to determine which keys open which locks.
Check the column Locks and Keys Marked and Checked? (Camera Trap
Checklist).
TEAM
Administrative
step
Before you go
to the field…
4.2.4 Final review of settings and paperwork
The crew leader should review the Camera Trap Checklist to ensure that for each
camera trap all functions are properly set, memory cards are in place, the
batteries are functioning, and so on. The crew leader (or his or her delegate) must
review, sign, and date the checklist and obtain the signature of the site manager
(or the site manager’s delegate). The crew leader gives the signed checklist to the
site manager who will properly archive it. Without this review and signature, the
site manager may not authorize deployment of camera traps to the field. During
site visits, the TEAM regional manager or TEAM technical director may request
inspection of these forms (or any other forms described in this document).
4.2.5 Other equipment and supplies
The following additional field equipment and supplies (in addition to the camera
traps themselves) need to be ready and packed before the team leaves for a field
assignment:
• GPS unit. To ensure the maximum precision possible, the TEAM Network
office will arrange for the crew leader to obtain access to a GPS unit so
that each camera trap point can be geo-referenced. Only use GPS models
that have been approved by the TEAM Network office.
• Aluminum tags. Take 30–60 aluminum write-on tags to the field (see
specifications in the equipment list). Once a camera trap point is
established and geo-referenced it needs to be marked (see Section 4.3.2).
• Cutting equipment. Use light-weight cutting equipment (e.g., garden
clippers or a small machete) in case small access trails need to be cleared
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
•
•
•
•
to access potential camera trap point locations and to clear the vegetation
around a camera trap point.
Compass and maps. Take a few compasses and good plasticized maps of
the area at the appropriate scale (i.e., array) to help orient the crew in the
forest.
A small whiteboard. Take a small whiteboard (e.g., 23 × 35 cm), 2–3
dry-erase pens, and a cloth rag to mark the beginning and end of the
sampling period at each camera trap point.
One to two open-frame backpacks. Use these to carry camera traps in the
field. Each backpack can hold up to 5–6 camera traps.
Field forms. Bring the following field forms:
o Camera Trap Forms (Appendix A3): Take the forms that were
already partially completed during the camera trap setup and
preparation steps (Section 4.2.2) with the Camera Trap Number,
Camera Trap Serial Number, and Memory Card Serial Number.
Record other information on this form when installing the camera
trap in the field.
o Camera Trap Point Form (Appendix A1): Take blank copies of this
form to complete all appropriate data about the camera trap
points (i.e., latitude and longitude, camera trap point identification
number, date, time, etc.).
4.2.6 General field guidelines
Before leaving for a field assignment, the crew leader should meet with the other
crew members to review the deployment plan and schedule. This meeting should
explain the setup and movement of temporary camps as the field crew deploys the
camera trap points, the order in which various camera trap points will be visited,
and other general logistical issues (e.g., water acquisition and food preparation
and schedule). These are some general recommendations:
• Use maps of the study area with the expected locations of the camera
trap points to explain to the field crew the deployment plan. Each point in
the array should have a unique number (between 1 and 30, depending
on the number of points in the array). This number will be part of the
camera trap point ID used when marking the camera trap location.
• The number and location of temporary camps will depend on the local
conditions at the site, but TEAM recommends establishing one or two
camps to minimize travel to and from the camera trap points.
• The field crew should be prepared to spend several days sleeping in these
temporary camps under sometimes harsh field conditions (high humidity
and heat, rain, mosquitoes, etc.).
• TEAM highly recommends establishing temporary camps close to water
sources to avoid carrying large amounts of water. Food should be very
basic and include mostly nonperishable items.
• Setting up camera traps is hard and arduous work and the field crew
should be physically and psychologically prepared to spend all day
working in the field over several consecutive days. Spending an entire day
in the field is crucial for minimizing the amount of time that camera traps
should be deployed. Therefore, each crew member should carry enough
19
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
•
•
water and food for the working day. Going back to the camp for lunch is
inefficient and will waste valuable time.
When packing the camera traps to take in the field do not store them with
food or any other substances that might attach odors to the camera trap.
Food or other smells might attract animals to the camera trap in the field,
biasing the estimates of detection probability.
When carrying camera traps in the field use an open backpack frame to
which the camera traps can be strapped using the bungee cords that
accompany each camera. Do not carry camera traps and food in the
same bag to avoid impregnating them with smells that might bias the
sampling.
4.3 Field Trip to Establish and Geo-reference Camera Trap Points
The following sections describe the steps for establishing and geo-referencing
potential camera trap points and installing the camera traps in the field. Follow
these steps carefully, because the successful placement of camera trap points is
crucial to the quality and number of photographs expected.
4.3.1 Locating the best place for the camera trap point in the field
Using the Proposed Deployment Plan and a GPS unit, navigate to the proposed
camera trap point location where a camera trap is expected to be deployed. This
is the potential location that was determined during the deployment plan. Once
the deployment crew reaches this location, the crew leader needs to find the best
possible location as close as possible to the predetermined coordinates. Choose
the exact location to give the highest probability of obtaining useful photographs
within 10 meters of the original point. Often this will be a game trail or ridge top.
Different species have unique travel habits, and trail characteristics affect the
species that use those trails. Select the location that is likely to yield photos of the
largest number of species. DO NOT choose the location on the basis of behavior
of any single species. It is the crew leader’s responsibility to decide the final
location of the camera trap.
1. Choose a “wildlife-friendly” site. Once in the vicinity of the predetermined
coordinates, the crew leader should search for the nearest location such
as trails, dirt roads, creek banks, and paths to water that animals use on a
regular basis and with a good chance of animal visitation. Look for signs
(tracks, scrapes, game trails) nearby.
2. Try to determine the travel path. The crew leader should choose a site
where the travel path is limited to the area that the camera trap can
photograph (Figure 4, A and C). An open area is a poor choice because
animals may cross it at any point and travel in any direction (Figure 4D). A
single trail with evidence of use and limited travel alternatives is optimal
for placing camera traps (Figure 4C). In some cases it may be necessary
to pile brush to restrict the options for movement on a wide trail.
20
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 4. Recommendations for camera trap placement. Camera traps should be placed perpendicular to animal travel paths (A),
rather than parallel or diagonal to them (B). Travel paths should be fairly restricted (C) rather than open (D). Terrain between camera
trap and travel path should be leveled (E) and not sloped (F).
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
3. Consider the sensor’s range and field of view. A wide trail has more
places at which wildlife can cross a sensor and thus, the greater the area
that must be covered by the sensor’s field of view. The maximum distance
to the far side of the trail should not be farther than the distance covered
by the flash. The distance should also be considerably less than the
maximum range of the sensor.
4. Consider the terrain. The ground under the camera trap unit needs to be
reasonably level (Figure 4E). Trails with ruts or slopes can result in the
ground obscuring a traveling animal from the sensor beam, and might
cause the camera trap to miss photograph opportunities. A path with a
pronounced slope on one side can result in a sensor beam that is at
shoulder height when wildlife walk on the upside of the path, but miss the
animal entirely if it walks on the down slope of the path (Figure 4F). Be
aware of all the possibilities of travel in front of the camera traps. If it is
impossible to find level terrain then make sure to angle the camera
accordingly, so that it is reasonably parallel to the ground.
5. Find a suitable tree in which to set the camera. Finally, find a spot with a
suitable tree or post perpendicular to the trail. Affix the camera trap to the
tree approximately 30–50 centimeters off the ground and parallel to it.
Suitable trees have trunks that are reasonably straight; thin enough to tie a
chain or wire around; but not so thin that wind, people, or other animals
can shake it excessively. Try to minimize direct sunlight exposure to the
camera trap because excessive heat can reduce the sensitivity of the heat
sensor. Camera traps should be set back at least 2 meters from the
nearest point at which wildlife might travel across the sensor. This allows
for clear, focused pictures and a large enough field of detection from the
sensor. The longer an animal is in the detection zone, the less chance of
missing a photographic opportunity.
6. Set up the “stage” for the camera trap. Occasionally, limitations in terrain
or suitable trees hamper complete coverage of a trail. Cut some brush as
needed to maximize detection within the field of view of the camera trap.
Try not to disturb the trail or lay down too much vegetation to force
animals to pass in front of the camera because some animals will turn
around if faced with obstructions. Try to keep the stage as natural as
possible.
4.3.2 Record the spatial location of the camera trap point and mark its location
Use of a GPS
is required
1. Record the spatial coordinates of the location. Once the final location for
the camera has been chosen, record the longitude and latitude of the final
placement of the camera trap in decimal degrees using the GPS unit. It is
crucial to take a GPS location for each camera trap point before
beginning any sampling. This location should be as close as possible to
the actual tree or post in which the camera will be mounted. Write down
the latitude and longitude in decimal degrees with at least six decimal
points in the Latitude and Longitude columns (Camera Trap Point Form).
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Fill in the Year, Month, Day, Time, First name of the person taking the
reading, Last name of the person taking the reading, GPS Make and
Model, and Number of Points columns (Camera Trap Point Form).
Important: a
critical
step/process
2. Mark the location where the camera trap will be set. Mark an aluminum
tag with the camera trap point ID using the TEAM convention:
CT - Site abbreviation – Array number – Point number
The first two letters refer to the protocol (CT for Terrestrial Vertebrates
Protocol); the second two letters are the abbreviation for the TEAM site; the
third number is the array number, and the final two digits are the point
number. For example, when setting up point # 15 in array # 1 at Manaus,
use the following camera trap point ID: CT-MN-1-15. Strictly follow this
naming convention for all camera trap points. Attach the aluminum tag to the
tree were the camera trap will be mounted. Fill in the Point ID column in the
Camera Trap Point Form.
4.3.3 Setting up the camera trap at the location
Once the specific location for the camera trap is geo-referenced and marked, the
camera trap can be installed at the camera trap point. Follow the guidelines
outlined here and in Figure 4.
1. Roughly calculate the field of view. Although camera traps can in theory
detect movement up to 30 meters away, this distance is dependent on the
local temperature and humidity. More realistically, and because
vegetation in tropical forests tends to be dense, camera traps should be
aimed 2–4 meters from animal trails. Because the camera lens has about
a 40 degree field of view, the width of the field of view can be roughly
approximated as 70% of the distance from the camera trap to the trail. For
example, a camera that is about 3 meters away from the trail will capture
a field of view of about 2.1 meters (0.7 × 3) in the trail. See below for a
more precise determination of the field of view using the Walk Test mode
in the camera trap.
2. Clear debris from the camera trap field of view. Clear big leaves and
other obstructions between the camera trap location and the travel path.
Anything that obstructs the beam reduces the detection ability of the
camera and could result in poor quality photographs. Large leaves can
result in false triggers when the sun heats up a frond blowing in the wind.
3. Fix the camera trap to the designated tree. Attach the bungee cord
through the large handles (ears) of the camera trap and around the
previously marked tree where it will be located. The sensor beam should
be approximately shoulder high on wildlife and set approximately 30–50
centimeters off the ground and parallel to it. Use freshly cut sticks and
branches to help prop up and secure the camera trap to the tree trunk or
other anchor. A well-placed twig between the camera trap housing and
the tree trunk can help adjust the angle at which the sensor is pointed.
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Always use live wood to brace cameras and adjust camera angles
because dead wood is too brittle. Try to avoid pointing the camera trap at
objects in direct sunlight such as large rocks or sunlit streams that may
absorb heat and trigger sensors.
4. Turn the camera on and type in the camera trap point ID. Remove the
front cover and turn the switch of the camera to the ON position.
Navigate to the Change Setup Menu and then to the User Label Menu.
Using the << and >> keys to type in the camera trap point ID (the same
ID in the aluminum tag at the camera trap point; e.g., CT-CX-1-3). All the
photos taken by this camera trap will have that identifier in its pictures.
5. Activate the Walk Test mode. Navigate to the Main Menu and select the
Walk Test mode. With this option, the camera flashes an indicator light
when an object enters its detection zone without triggering any photos.
Test the aim of the camera trap by crossing in front of it. Do this on both
the edges and the middle of the path. A human who crawls or crouches
while moving is a good imitation of wildlife walking in a relaxed fashion.
Make sure that every conceivable angle at which wildlife can pass in front
of the camera trap is tested, and that the sensor triggers in each instance
(watch the light in front of the camera trap). If necessary, adjust the angle
and height of the camera to maximize the field of view in front of the trail.
The camera trap will arm itself after a 2-minute period of no motion in
front of the sensor. This will ensure the camera has been properly set up.
6. Replace the front cover. Once the camera has been satisfactorily
positioned, put the moisture control packet back inside and carefully
replace the front cover of the camera trap.
7. Secure the camera trap to the tree. Pass the cable lock through the small
ears of the camera trap over the front cover and around the tree. Secure
the lock and do not leave the key. Write down the number of the key in the
Key Number column (Camera Trap Form).
8. Prepare the whiteboard for a test/start photo. Take out the whiteboard and
write down the following data:
a. The camera trap point ID that corresponds to this particular point
(e.g., CT-MN-01-10)
b. The date in ISO standard format (yyyy/mm/dd); write this below
the camera trap point ID
c. The time in ISO standard format (hhmm; e.g., 1600, 1235)
d. Complete first and last name of the responsible field crew leader
(do not use abbreviations, nicknames, or initials)
9. Take a test picture. After 2 minutes of inactivity in front of the sensor the
camera will self-arm. As soon as this happens, position yourself 2 meters
in front of the camera trap and hold up the labeled whiteboard. Make
sure the camera takes a photograph (watch for the lens to open and
close). The camera trap is set. Fill in the Start Date column (Camera Trap
Form): year, month, day, hour, and minute (the same date and time that
24
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
appear on the whiteboard). Also write down the First Name and Last
Name of the leader of the crew setting the camera trap (Camera Trap
Form).
10. Go to the next camera trap point. Walk to the next camera trap point and
start the entire process described in Sections 4.3.1, 4.3.2, and 4.3.3.
Repeat until all camera traps have been installed.
4.3.4 Return to the base camp/laboratory
After all the camera traps have been deployed at the corresponding camera trap
points, each point needs to be sampled for a minimum of 30 days. When
returning from the field, the next step is to upload all the spatial information of the
camera trap points to the TEAM data repository. The steps below outline this
process in detail.
Data
entry/upload
4.4 Upload the Spatial Location of Camera Trap Points
When returning from the field, upload all the spatial location information of the
camera traps that have been deployed. It is crucial that this information is
uploaded as soon as possible to the TEAM data repository for adequate checking
to ensure the quality of the data and that the camera trap points are properly
spaced according to the standard sampling design. While in the laboratory or
base camp, transcribe all the data in the Camera Trap Point Form to the
appropriate worksheet in the Camera Trap Excel Template. Follow the instructions
below.
4.4.1 Transcribe the data from the camera spatial form
Transcribe all the information from the Camera Trap Point Form to the Camera
Trap Point Worksheet (use the Camera Trap Excel Template). If there are problems
with the spatial data, the locations will need to be re-established or georeferenced again in the field by the crew leader at the TEAM site (see Section
4.3.2).
1. Open the template and save the file using the TEAM standard convention.
Open a blank copy of the Camera Trap Excel File. Save the file using the
TEAM standard convention:
Site name abbreviation–Protocol abbreviation–From date_To date–
NEW.xls
For example, a file from Volcan Barva where camera trap points were
measured between January 16 and January 23, 2007, should be named
as follows: VB-CT-2007-01-16_2007-01-23.NEW.xls.
2. Transcribe the data. Navigate to the Camera Trap Point Worksheet in the
file and enter all the information row by row (record by record). Make sure
all the values in each column conform to the standard data dictionary for
this form (available at the TEAM Web site). Save the file EVERY TIME a
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
new record is entered (by doing so, only one record will be lost if a power
failure occurs).
3. Make a backup copy. When finished entering the information or at the
end of the day, make a backup copy of the file (ideally, an external
removable hard drive). This hard drive should be stored in a different
location than the computer.
Data
entry/upload
4.4.2 Upload information to TEAM data repository
Once all the information for a particular camera trap array has been transcribed
to the Camera Trap Point Worksheet in a corresponding Camera Trap Excel File,
upload it to the TEAM data repository: http://www.teamnetworkdata.org. You will
receive an e-mail confirmation that the file has been uploaded a few days later,
and an explanation of whether the data in the file comply with TEAM minimum
data standards.
The TEAM remote sensing specialist will evaluate the data only if the data comply
with TEAM minimum standards. She or he will communicate within 7 days of
acceptance of the file and approve or reject the spatial data. If the spatial data are
approved, then the points just deployed can be used for subsequent sampling.
Otherwise, the TEAM remote sensing specialist will discuss with the site manager
the problems with the spatial data, and whether a new field trip is required to reestablish and geo-reference camera trap points.
4.5 Data Retrieval and Subsequent Redeployment of Camera Traps
After the first-deployed camera traps have been in the field for at least 30 days,
the data (photographs) need to be retrieved and the camera traps moved to new
camera trap points if points still remain to be sampled in the season. Remember
that in the first year a total of 60 camera trap points need to be sampled for a
minimum of 30 days each. Because the number of camera traps at each site is
usually between 20 and 30, the camera traps need to be deployed at one set of
points, left there for 30 days, moved to the remaining set of points, and left there
for another 30 days.
At some TEAM sites it might be possible to retrieve the memory cards, replace the
batteries, insert fresh memory cards, and relocate the camera traps without having
to return to the permanent base camp or laboratory. At other sites, the field crew
might have to bring back all camera traps to the laboratory before redeploying to
the remaining set of camera trap points. The site manager can adjust the steps
below depending on whether the field crew is expected to return to the laboratory
after pickup and before redeployment. However, it is important to minimize the
time between picking up the camera traps and redeploying them to a new set of
points because all sampling needs to occur within the same dry season, otherwise
the sampling period will include dry and wet seasons, which can affect the number
of photographs being taken and the quality and comparability of the data with
other TEAM sites.
Follow the steps below if the camera traps are to be redeployed almost
immediately without their being returned to the field station or permanent base
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
camp. Otherwise, steps 1 and 2 in Section 4.5.1, “Preparations for the data
retrieval and redeployment trip” and all steps in Section 4.8, “Redeployment of
Camera Traps in the Field” can occur in the base camp before redeployment.
Before you go
to the field…
4.5.1 Preparations for the data retrieval and redeployment trip
1. Charge the new batteries. Using Section 4.2.1 as a guide, charge and
bring fresh type “C” rechargeable NiMH batteries to replace the ones that
have been in the field (a few more than six times the number of camera
traps deployed to have some extras). Allow 24 hours to charge the
batteries before traveling to the field.
2. Prepare fresh memory cards. Bring new memory cards to insert into the
cameras to replace the ones that will be retrieved. Before traveling to the
field, make sure each memory card is empty by inserting it into a cardreader drive connected to a computer (any USB drive compatible with the
memory card; see Section 8, Equipment List). Pack the memory cards in
their original plastic cases to avoid soiling. If the original cases are not
available, bring one small, zipper-like plastic bag for each memory card.
3. Keys for the cable locks. Bring all the keys to unlock the cable locks
securing the camera traps in the field.
4. Six to 12 type “C” alkaline batteries. Bring some alkaline batteries in case
a camera needs to be reprogrammed or reset. Do not use the fresh
rechargeable batteries for this to avoid using any of their energy.
5. Replacement camera trap. Bring an extra camera trap in case some have
been stolen from the field or need to be replaced because of malfunction.
Follow the calibration and preparation steps in Sections 4.2.1 to 4.2.3
before taking it to the field.
6. Small whiteboard and erasable markers. This is crucial for testing the
camera trap and documenting the end of the 30-day sampling period.
7. Bring the following forms:
a. The Camera Trap Form that was filled out when the cameras in the
array were deployed a month ago. This form should already have
the first 6 columns filled in. Fill in the remaining columns when the
camera traps are picked up in the field.
b. A new blank Camera Trap Form, which will need to be filled in
when the cameras are redeployed to new locations.
c. A new Camera Trap Points Form if camera points need to be
relocated in the field.
d. A blank Damaged Camera Trap Form to log information about
camera traps that malfunction.
e. A blank Camera Trap Checklist to recheck and recalibrate the
equipment before camera traps are redeployed to new locations.
8. Take blank aluminum tags for new camera trap points. Take a few blank
aluminum tags in case camera trap points need to be relocated. Use them
to mark the location of the new camera trap point.
9. Pack in a small water canteen and a small towel. To avoid damaging the
contacts of memory cards when picking them up in the field, each crew
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
member should pack a water canteen with a small clean towel and use
them to clean their hands before handling memory cards.
4.5.2 Picking up the camera traps and memory cards
To ensure each camera trap is sampled for at least 30 days, the field team must
plan to return to each camera trap point to retrieve the memory cards and the
camera traps. Follow the steps below to ensure all information is collected in a
standardized way.
1. Locate and examine the camera trap. Upon reaching the location where
the camera trap was installed, examine it without getting in its line of vision
(e.g., from one side) and look for obvious signs of external damage.
a. If the camera is missing write YES in the Camera missing? column
and NA in the Camera working?, Case damage?, Camera
damage?, and Card Damage? columns (Camera Trap Form). If
the camera is not missing write NO in the Camera missing?
column (same form).
b. If the case appears damaged write down YES in the Case
damage? column (Camera Trap Form), otherwise write NO.
c. If a tree has fallen in the path of vision of the camera trap and it
will be difficult to easily remove the camera trap from the line of
vision (e.g., without using a saw) then this camera trap point will
need to be moved. Do not do this now. Instead, write YES in the
column point needs to be moved? (Camera Trap Form). Explain
the reason in the Notes column (same form). Complete all the
steps below and do not worry about moving the camera trap point
now. This will occur the next time this point is visited for
subsequent redeployment next year (see Section 6.2).
2. Prepare the whiteboard for the test/end photograph. Take out the
whiteboard and follow the steps outlined in Section 4.3.3, Point #8. The
whiteboard needs to be properly labeled with the camera trap point ID,
date, time, and first and last name of the camera trap field crew leader.
3. Take a test/end of sampling period photograph. Position yourself about 2
meters in front of the camera trap holding up the previously labeled
whiteboard. Watch to see whether or not the camera takes a photo (i.e.,
watch for the lens opening and closing).
a. If the camera does NOT take a picture, write NO in the column
Camera working? (Camera Trap Form). At the end of the day (or
back in the field station), follow the steps in Section 4.6 to
determine the possible cause of the camera malfunction.
b. If the camera DOES take a picture, write YES in the column
Camera working? (Camera Trap Form).
c. Write the year, month, day, hour, and minute corresponding to the
End Date column (Camera Trap Form). These values should be the
same as those written on the whiteboard.
d. Write down the first name and last name of the person responsible
for picking up the camera (i.e., the field crew leader) in the First
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TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Name and Last Name—Person picking up the camera columns
(Camera Trap Form). These values should be the same as those
written on the whiteboard.
4. Dismount the camera from the tree. Unlock the cable and dismount the
camera from the tree. The camera might take a photo while doing this. Do
not worry about this.
5. Clean your hands. Before opening the camera trap and handling any
memory cards clean and dry your hands thoroughly using water and a
towel to avoid damaging the contacts of the memory card.
6. Open the camera trap case. Open the camera trap and turn the ON/OFF
switch to OFF.
7. Retrieve the memory card. Make sure the camera trap is OFF. Pull out the
memory card from its slot in the front of the case.
8. Store the memory card in the appropriate case/bag. Store the memory
card in the corresponding plastic case previously labeled with the camera
trap point ID for that particular camera trap point (e.g., CT-MN-2-04).
Double check that the memory card has been stored in the correct case by
comparing the camera trap point unit ID written on the case with the
camera trap point unit ID written on the aluminum tag at the camera trap
point. If plastic cases for the memory cards are not available, place the
card in a prelabeled, plastic zipper-type bag. You may have dozens of
memory cards from 20–30 different camera trap points and it is vital to
know precisely which memory card corresponds to which camera trap
point.
9. Close the camera trap case. Replace the front cover of the camera trap.
Properly pack the camera trap in a bag and go to the next sampling point.
Repeat the entire process outlined in Section 4.5.2 until the last camera
trap of the day has been picked up.
4.6 Equipment Examination
At the end of each day in the field, or if all the camera traps are returned to the
main field station or laboratory, examine the camera traps that are believed to be
defective and prepare the equipment for redeployment to points that have not yet
been sampled. Use the following steps to ensure that by the time the last camera
trap is picked up from the current sampling array, most of the equipment will be
ready to be redeployed to a new sampling array.
1. Separate functioning camera traps from defective camera traps. Using the
results of the photo test at the time of retrieval, separate the camera traps
THAT DO NOT WORK from the camera traps THAT DO WORK.
2. For the cameras that DO NOT WORK:
29
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
a. Open the camera trap and replace the rechargeable type “C”
batteries in the camera with six regular type “C” batteries. Insert a
blank or test memory card. Re-arm the camera trap (Main
Menu/Arm Camera).
b. Test the camera trap by walking in front of it. If the camera
triggers, open the camera trap and check the display status to
make sure the camera took a photo. This means the batteries the
camera was running on while in the field were depleted.
c. If after following Steps a and b above the camera trap does not
take a photo, the trap needs to be replaced with a new unit. Fill in
all the columns in the Damaged Camera Trap Form.
d. Examine the camera trap externally and internally looking for signs
of damage (cracks, loose seals, water, etc.). Write down anything
unusual in the Notes column of the Damaged Camera Trap Form.
e. If new batteries and a memory card were inserted in the camera
trap, take them out.
f. Take this camera trap back when returning to the permanent base.
Instructions on what to do with these damaged cameras appear
below.
3. For cameras that DO WORK:
a. Open the camera trap and take out the rechargeable type “C”
batteries.
b. Check the camera trap and camera for any external damage.
Write down YES or NO in the column Case damage? as
appropriate (Damaged Camera Trap Form). If the case appears to
be damaged, describe it briefly in the Notes column (Damaged
Camera Trap Form). If the damage is major (e.g., a large crack)
such that water may seep into the camera trap, it needs to be
repaired right away (Section 4.2.3) or taken back to the laboratory
and repaired there. In the latter case, replace the camera trap with
a spare one. Fill in the column Case damage? in the Camera Trap
Form.
c. If the case is not damaged, make sure the ON/OFF switch
(control unit and sensor) is turned OFF.
d. Store the camera traps in a dry place until redeployment. If the
camera traps are not being taken back to the laboratory or
permanent base before being redeployed in the field, store them
closed in the coolest and driest place available in the temporary
base camp.
Before you go
to the field…
4.7 Equipment Recalibration
Once all camera traps have been collected from a particular sampling array and
examined, they need to be moved to the next sampling array. Before the camera
traps are redeployed in the field cameras need to be recalibrated, with new
batteries and memory cards installed. Depending on logistical conditions at the
TEAM site, this step may occur in a temporary camp in the field before the
cameras are redeployed to another sampling array or at the permanent laboratory
30
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
or field station. In both cases, follow the steps below to ensure this process is
standardized.
Field Forms needed: A blank copy of the Camera Trap Checklist form.
All camera traps need to be refitted with new batteries and memory cards and
rechecked at least 24 hours before field deployment. A new Camera Trap
Checklist form needs to be filled out and the field deployment crew leader (and
site manager if this happens at the permanent laboratory or field station) must sign
the list before the camera traps can be redeployed. Make sure to follow the
requirements in the following sections:
1. Follow Steps 1 and 3–10 in “Preparation of the camera trap” (Section 4.2.2).
If a new camera trap is being used to replace a missing or malfunctioning
one, be sure to follow Step 2 as well.
2. “Case inspection” (Section 4.2.3).
3. “Final review of settings and paperwork” (Section 4.2.4).
The camera trap settings should not change from one field deployment to the next
within the same sampling year. It is important to make sure all the equipment has
the same settings to ensure data standardization.
4.8 Redeployment of Camera Traps in the Field
Before returning to the field the crew should meet to review the deployment plan
for the remaining camera trap points that need to be established and georeferenced. Follow the guidelines in Section 4.2.6.
Follow the exact same guidelines in Section 4.3 under “Field Trip to Establish and
Geo-reference Camera Trap Points.”
4.8.1 Return to the laboratory/permanent base camp
After all camera traps have been redeployed, the field crew will return to the
laboratory or permanent base camp. Upon return, process all the memory cards
that were collected from the first deployment. The next section explains how to
accomplish this. All camera traps that were found damaged need to given to the
site manager in conjunction with the Damaged Camera Trap Form. If the camera
trap is still under guarantee, the site manager must mail it back to the
manufacturer for a replacement (see the Reconyx manual in Appendix A5). If the
camera is not under guarantee, then the site manager will need to order a
replacement and include that cost in the budget for next year.
4.9 Processing and Uploading of Spatial Data
Following the guidelines outlined in Sections 4.4.1 and 4.4.2, transcribe all the
new spatial information for the camera trap points that were just deployed and
upload it to the TEAM data repository for proper technical evaluation. As
described before, a TEAM remote sensing specialist will approve or reject the
points within 7 days of uploading. If points are rejected, these points will need to
31
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
be re-established the next time camera traps are deployed. If the points are
accepted then camera traps can be deployed at these points the next field season.
Data
entry/upload
4.10 Processing and Uploading Data from a 30-Day Deployment
Cycle
All photos and data from the 30-day camera trap deployment cycle need to be
processed and uploaded to the TEAM Web site (http://www.teamnetworkdata.org)
within 7 days of returning from the field. Do not wait until all the sampling for the
season has been completed. Follow the steps below to ensure this occurs in a
standardized and efficient fashion. This process is outlined in Figure 5.
Excel templates needed for this process:
1. Camera Trap Excel Template to transcribe all information on the Camera
Trap form.
2. Photo Data Excel Template to transcribe all information from photos taken
by the camera traps in the field.
3. Damaged Camera Trap Excel Template to transcribe all information on the
Damaged Camera Trap Form.
All Excel templates are included in different tabs (or worksheets) within the
same Excel template file. The current English version of the Excel template file
is named “CT-ET-EN-3.0.xls” and can be downloaded directly from the TEAM
Web site. Refer to the Data Management Protocol at the TEAM Web site for
an explanation of the naming conventions of the TEAM Excel templates.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.1 Transcribe the data from the Camera Trap Form
Follow these steps to transcribe all the data from the Camera Trap Form to the
Camera Trap Excel File.
1. Open a copy of the Camera Trap Excel Template. Open the computer file
“CT-ET-EN-3.0.xls.” It should contain no data. Navigate to the Camera
Trap Worksheet (or tab).
2. Save this template as a new Camera Trap Excel File. Save the file with a
new name using “Save As.” The name of the file should follow TEAM
standard convention:
Site name–CT–From date_To date–NEW.xls
32
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 5. Workflow illustrating data processing, transcription and upload.
33
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Use the two-letter abbreviation for the TEAM site, the two-letter
abbreviation for the protocol name (CT stands for the Terrestrial
Vertebrate Protocol), the from date in ISO format (yyyy-mm-dd), the to
date (yyyy-mm-dd), the word NEW (means this is a new file), and the
extension (xls).
Example: A file from Manaus, with Terrestrial Vertebrate data collected
between January 1 and January 30, 2007, should have the following
name: MN-CT-2007-01-01_2007-01-30-NEW.xls
3. Transcribe the data. Transcribe all the information from the Camera Trap
Form to the Camera Trap Worksheet in the Camera Trap Excel File, row by
row (record by record). Make sure all the values in each of the columns
follow the Standard Data Dictionary for this form (the data dictionary for
the Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol is available at the TEAM
Web site). Save the file every time a new record is entered (by doing so
only one record will be lost if a power failure occurs).
4. Make a backup copy. When all information has been entered (or at the
end of the day), make a backup copy of the file (ideally, on an external,
removable hard drive). Store this hard-drive file in a location other than on
the computer.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.2 Transcribe the data from the Damaged Camera Trap Form
If malfunctioning camera traps or camera traps with damaged cases/seals were
returned from the field, transcribe all information from the Damaged Camera Trap
Form (Section 4.6) into the current Camera Trap Excel File:
1. Open the file. Open the current Camera Trap Excel File being used to
store the information for this sampling cycle.
2. Transcribe the data. Navigate to the Damaged Camera Trap Worksheet in
the file and enter the information row by row (record by record). Make
sure all the values in each column follow the standard data dictionary for
this form.
3. Save the file frequently. Save the file every time a new record is entered (by
doing so only one record will be lost if a power failure occurs).
4. Make a backup copy. When all information has been entered (or at the
end of the day), make a backup copy of the file (ideally, on an external,
removable hard drive). Store this hard-drive file in a location other than on
the computer.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.3 Create the appropriate computer directory structure to store the
photographs
Create a directory structure (a series of folders and subfolders nested in a
particular way) before transferring photographs from the memory cards to the
34
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
computer so that photographs from each camera trap point at each sampling
period can be easily found. Follow the steps below to ensure this directory
structure is standardized.
1. Create a folder for the sampling period. In the folder where the data from
the Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol are usually stored, create a folder with
the name of the sampling period. Because the Terrestrial Vertebrate
Protocol happens only once a year, the name of this folder should be the
year the sampling took place (e.g., 2007).
2. Create a subfolder for the camera trap array number. Inside the sampling
period folder create a folder named “Array,” followed by the
corresponding camera trap array number sampled (e.g., Array 1).
3. Create subfolders for the camera trap points IDs. Inside the Array number
folder, create folders named for each camera trap point. For example,
folders that will contain photographs from camera trap points 1, 2, and 3
from sampling array 1 in Manaus will be named “CT-MN-1-01,” “CTMN-1-02,” and “CT-MN-1-03,” respectively.
Figure 6 illustrates this folder hierarchy and shows how the photographs
should be stored. It is intended to serve only as an example. Use the
appropriate abbreviations and numbers depending on the year of sampling
and TEAM site.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.4 Transfer the photographs from the memory card to the computer
Gather all the memory cards that were brought back from the field and put them
in an open box or container. Label this box “Cards not transferred.” The memory
cards should be individually packed in premarked plastic cases or plastic bags
with the camera trap point ID from which they came. Label another box or
container (it should be empty at this point) “Cards transferred.”
1. Connect a card reader to the computer. Connect a card reader capable
of reading Compact Flash (CF) cards to the USB port in the computer (see
Section 8, Equipment List).
2. Take a memory card with its case from the “Cards not transferred” box.
Notice the camera trap point ID written down in the case or bag where the
card is stored. This camera trap point ID will be needed when transferring
the files to the computer. Open the case (or bag) and take out the card.
Do not open other cases/bags at the same time to minimize the risk of
mixing up cards from different camera trap points.
3. Insert the memory card in the card reader. Insert the memory card with the
metal contacts facing in and down. Pay attention to the orientation of the
card; the contact side should be oriented downward.
35
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 6. Example of the directory structure created when storing the photos in the computer. The top level is the sampling
period folder, the next level is the camera trap array folder, inside these are the camera trap point folders, and inside each of
these are the individual photograph files.
4. Examine the contents of the memory card. Once the memory card has
been properly mounted and read by the computer double-click on the
appropriate drive letter to examine the contents of the memory card. Files
will have names such as DSC0001.JPG, DSC0002.JPG, etc. Open one or
two of these files to make sure these are photographs from the camera
trap. If files do not appear, the memory card might have been damaged
or erased. Follow these steps to determine the problem:
a. Remove the card reader from the computer by using the “Safely
Remove Hardware” command in Windows.
b. Reconnect the card reader to the computer and repeat Steps 3
and 4 above.
c. If the contents of the memory card still cannot be examined repeat
Step a) above. Go to the next step.
d. Find a spare camera trap. Insert the memory card in that camera
and take 2–3 photographs with the camera trap and verify they
have been stored in the memory. If they have not, the card is
damaged. Go to Step g).
36
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
e. If photographs are not visible, there might be a problem with the
card reader. Find another card reader. Start again from Step 3
above.
f. Open the Camera Trap Excel File used for this 30-day sampling
cycle. Navigate to the Camera Trap Worksheet, and enter YES in
the column Card Damage in the appropriate row for this card.
Save the file.
g. If the memory card is damaged, write down “Damaged” on the
front side of the card. Return it to the case it came from and store
it in a different box labeled “Damaged Memory Cards” to
minimize the risk of taking it back to the field and losing valuable
information.
5. Copy the files from the memory card to the computer. Select all the
photographs from the memory card and copy them into the folder labeled
with the same name as the camera trap point ID written on the case or
bag. Be careful! Do not risk mixing up photographs from different camera
trap points.
6. Remove the memory card. Once all photographs have been copied from
the card, use Windows Explorer and select the USB drive that corresponds
to the memory card. Right click on it and select “Eject” to safely remove
the card. Do not yet erase the photographs from the card.
7. Place the memory card back in its case. After ejecting the card,
INMMEDIATELY return it to the case (or bag) from which it came and drop
it in the “Cards Transferred” box.
8. Process another memory card. Repeat Steps 1 through 7 in this section
until all photographs from all cards have been transferred to the computer
and the “Cards Not Transferred” box is empty. When finished (or at the
end of the day) make a backup copy of the entire folder containing all
photographs from all camera trap points in a separate drive (ideally, a
removable hard drive). Store this drive securely in a place other than
where the computer is housed.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.5 Process the photographs
At this point all photographs should be stored in computer folders that correspond
to their camera trap point ID. Several pieces of information now need to be
extracted from each photograph and stored in the Photo Data Worksheet in the
Camera Trap Data Excel File. Follow the steps below to ensure that photographs
are processed correctly with all necessary information.
1. Open the Excel file. Open the current Camera Trap Excel File used to
store all information for this 30-day sampling cycle. Go to the worksheet
labeled Photo Data.
2. Locate and open a camera trap point folder. Open the sampling period
folder (e.g., 2007) and choose the next subfolder in the list (e.g., CT-CX37
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
01-01) and open it. It should contain all the photographs that were taken
at that camera trap point for the 30-day period. Enter the name of the
sampling period (e.g., 2007) in the Sampling Period column and the Point
ID in the Point ID column in the Photo Data Worksheet. All photographs
from this folder should have the same sampling period and camera trap
point ID.
Data
entry/upload
3. Order the photographs by date. Using Windows Explorer, make sure the
photographs are ordered by date from the earliest to the latest.
4. Start entering data. Follow these steps:
a. Open a photograph file. Open the next photograph in the list (if
not the first one).
b. Enter date and time. The bottom right of the photograph contains
the date and time the photo was taken. Separately enter the year,
month, day, hour, and minute when the photograph was taken in
the columns year, month, day, hour, and minute in the Photo Data
Worksheet.
c. Enter the name of the file. Enter the name of the photograph file
(e.g., DSC0005.JPG). Enter this name in the Raw Filename
column in the Photo Data Worksheet. The next column (TEAM
Filename) will be completed automatically.
d. Identify what is on the photograph. If the photograph contains the
image of an animal identify it to genus and species. The Excel
spreadsheet will have a drop-down list of all mammal and bird
genera and species following the taxonomy given by Mammals
Species of the World by Wilson and Reeder (2004)
(http://nmnhgoph.si.edu/msw/) and The Sibley/Monroe World List
of
Bird
Names
by
Monroe
and
Sibley
(1997)
(http://www.ornitaxa.com/SM/SMOrg/sibley4.html). Select the
appropriate genus and species in the genus and species columns
in the Photo Data Worksheet. If the animal can be identified to the
subspecies, include the subspecies name with the species name in
the same column. The next column in the worksheet (binomial) will
be completed automatically. Follow these rules to ensure
consistency in how this information is entered:
i. If a photograph contains more than one animal, fill in the
column number with the number of animals the image
contains.
ii. If a photograph contains more than one species of animal
(this happens very rarely), complete a separate row of data
for each species. All the data will be identical EXCEPT for
the genus, species, and possibly number.
iii. If the photograph is a test to position the camera trap, for
example, enter the word TEST in both the genus and
species columns.
iv. If the photograph contains the whiteboard with the start of
the sampling cycle information, enter the word START in
both the genus and species columns.
38
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
v. If the photograph contains the whiteboard with the end of
the sampling cycle information, enter the word END in
both the genus and species columns.
vi. If the photograph is of a human other than a field crew
member (e.g., a hunter) enter Homo and sapiens in the
genus and species columns.
vii. If the photograph contains nothing (sometimes a camera
will take a photo in response to moving vegetation, a
falling branch, or a bird quickly flying by), enter BLANK in
both the genus and species columns.
e. Enter the name of the person identifying the photograph. Type in
the first name and the last name of the person who identified the
animal in the photograph in the First Name and Last Name
columns in the Photo Data Worksheet.
f. Save the file. Save the file after entering each record (a row). By
doing so only one record will be lost if a power failure occurs.
g. Repeat steps a through g in this section until the information for
each photograph taken at this camera trap point has been
entered. Start again at Step 2 (open the folder for a new camera
trap point) and again follow all substeps in Step 4.
5. Make a backup copy. After entering all information (or at the end of the
day), make a backup copy of the file other than on the current computer
(ideally, an external, removable hard drive). Store the hard drive in a
different location than the computer.
Data
entry/upload
4.10.6 Upload the information to the TEAM Web site
Once all data for a 30-day sampling cycle have been entered in the computer,
these files (Excel templates and photographs) must be uploaded to the TEAM Web
site. Data must be uploaded to the TEAM Web site no later than 7 days after
returning from a field assignment.
1. Prepare the information. The following two files will need to be uploaded:
a. The Camera Trap Excel file for a specific 30-day sampling cycle.
This includes four worksheets: Camera Trap Data, Photo Data,
Damaged Camera Traps, and Camera Trap Point Data.
b. A compressed file with all photographs that were taken during the
same 30-day sampling cycle. Using a file compressing utility (such
as WinZip, http://www.winzip.com) compress the folder containing
all the photographs for that sampling cycle (e.g., folder Array 1 in
folder 2007). This will create a much smaller file that can be easily
uploaded through the Internet. The compressed file will also
preserve the directory structure so that when it is decompressed,
the original folder, its subfolders (each with the camera trap point
ID), and the photographs in each subfolder will be recreated
exactly.
2. Name these files using the TEAM standard convention. Use the convention
outlined in the TEAM Data Management Protocol to name these two files:
39
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
a. Camera Trap Excel Template file. Site abbreviation–Protocol
abbreviation–Start date_End date–NEW.xls. For example, a file
containing data from Manaus collected from July 1 to July 31,
2006, should be named MN-CT-2006-07-01_2006-07-31NEW.xls.
b. Compressed file with photographs. Site abbreviation–Protocol
abbreviation–Start date_End date-PHOTOS.zip. For example, a file
containing all photographs from Manaus collected from July 1 to
July 31, 2006, should be named MN-CT-2006-07-01_2006-0731-PHOTOS.zip.
3. Upload files to the TEAM data repository. Point the browser to the TEAM
data repository Web site (http://www.teamnetworkdata.org), log in, and
follow the instructions to upload each file. You will receive a confirmation
e-mail.
TEAM
Administrative
step
Before you go
to the field…
4.10.7 Backup and store all field forms
After all data have been transcribed and uploaded make copies of all paper field
forms and store them in a folder labeled with the name of the sampling period
(e.g., TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol—2007). Store the originals and copies
in different places (preferably in different buildings).
4.11 Last Field Trip of the Season and Camera Storage
Before the end of the last sampling cycle (30 days) of the season, plan one last
field trip to return the camera traps and the memory cards to the laboratory or
permanent base where the equipment is stored when not in use. The camera traps
will not be redeployed in the field until the next dry season. Follow the guidelines
in this section to ensure equipment receives proper care when not in use.
4.11.1 Preparations for the last field trip of the season
Take no fresh batteries or memory cards on the last field trip. Follow steps 3, 4, 6,
7 and 9 in Section 4.5.1, “Preparations for the data retrieval and redeployment
trip” . Follow Step 7, but do not bring blank Camera Trap Forms or Camera Trap
Point Forms; you will not need them.
4.11.2 Picking up the camera traps and memory cards for the last time in the
season
Follow the guidelines in Section 4.5.2 (“Picking up the camera traps and memory
cards”). When all camera traps have been collected, bring them back to the
laboratory or permanent base where equipment is stored. See the section that
follows for checkup and final storage of the equipment.
TEAM
Administrative
step
4.11.3 Equipment check-in
When camera traps have been returned to the laboratory or permanent base, they
need to be checked and cleaned before storage. Follow the steps in Section 4.6
40
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
(“Equipment examination”) to separate working cameras from nonworking camera
traps. Fill in the Damaged Camera Trap Form and give it to the site manager so
that these cameras can be repaired or replaced before the next sampling season.
4.11.4 Camera storage
All camera traps that are in proper working condition must be cleaned and stored
in a dry place until they are needed again. Follow the steps below:
1. Remove batteries. Check again and remove any remaining type “C”
batteries in the camera.
2. Discharge the rechargeable batteries. Discharge all rechargeable type “C”
batteries using the discharge mode in the battery charger. This is essential
to prolong battery life while the batteries are stored.
3. Store the batteries. If the batteries did not come with their own plastic
case, store them in a zipper-like, re-sealable plastic bag. Write the
beginning storage date on the bag. Store the rechargeable “C” batteries
in a cold and dry place (an air conditioned room or a 4°C refrigerator are
preferable).
4. Clean the cameras traps. Open the front cover and clean the interior of
the camera trap with a dry rag (do not use a wet or damp cloth) making
sure to remove all debris (dry leaves, dust, etc.). Clean the outside lens
cover of the case, the cover of the sensor, and the flash cover. If any of
these covers is too dirty to clean with a dry rag, use a barely damp cloth to
remove the dirt. Make sure to thoroughly dry these parts afterward.
5. Check the seals. Replace the front cover of the camera trap making sure it
gives some resistance. If it closes easily, inspect the seals to make sure
they are not wasted or run down. If they are, apply a thin layer of silicone
rubber around the edge of the camera trap case to improve sealing. Do
not close the case until the silicone rubber is dry (~12 hours).
6. Store the camera traps. Place a moisture control packet inside each
camera trap and replace the front cover. Store the camera traps in an air
conditioned room, a dry closet, or an airtight container. The moisture
control packets do not need to be oven-dried or put in the microwave.
5
POWER ANALYSIS TO DEFINE SAMPLE SIZE
After all data from the first field season have been collected and uploaded to the
TEAM data repository, the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol manager will
determine whether the initial number of camera trap points (60) is enough to
detect the minimum level of change in the terrestrial vertebrate community
required by the TEAM network (Figure 1). The TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol
41
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
manager will produce a report showing the results from this analysis 15 days after
receiving the data.
If the report determines that the initial number of camera trap points is enough,
then deployment of the protocol in subsequent years will continue using 60
camera trap points. If the report determines the number of camera traps is
insufficient, then additional camera traps points will need to be established at the
site at the beginning of the next sampling period. In this case, with data from the
power analysis report, the site manager will need to prepare a deployment plan
for these new points using the same guidelines from the first-year deployment plan
and submit it to TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol manager at least 3 months
before deployment to the field. Follow all the steps in Section 3.
6
PROTOCOL IMPLEMENTATION FOR SUBSEQUENT YEARS
The process of field deployment, data processing, and data upload for subsequent
years of the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol is similar to the first-year
implementation except for the following:
•
•
•
No deployment plan needs to be submitted UNLESS additional points
need to be deployed as detailed in the power analysis report submitted by
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol manager.
Because the camera trap points have already been located in the field,
the process of establishing new camera trap points will be needed only if
a point needs to be moved from its location from the previous season or if
new camera trap points need to be established (see Section 5).
Uploading spatial data from camera trap points is necessary only if a
camera trap point is moved from its previous season location or if new
camera trap points need to be established (see Section 5).
42
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
Figure 7. Workflow illustrating the main steps during subsequent years of deployment of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol. The
workflow moves from deployment of camera traps to pick-up and redeployment if necessary .The thick arrows show the main steps in
the workflow during the first cycle of deployment and pickup of camera traps.
43
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
A detailed workflow for deployment of the TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol in
subsequent years appears in Figure 7. The main steps are described below with
emphasis on the differences between deployments in the first year and subsequent
years. The steps below assume that no new camera trap points are to be installed.
If this is true, follow all the steps in Section 4.3 after a new deployment plan has
been approved (Section 3).
6.1 Determine Whether Camera Trap Points Need to be Moved
The site manager should examine the camera trap forms from last season and
determine whether any Point needs to be moved? columns have been checked.
The site manager should do this at least 3 months before the field crew expects to
travel to the field.
Before you go
to the field…
6.2 Equipment Preparation and Calibration
Follow Section 4.2 with the following modification:
If camera trap points need to be moved, the following extra items need to be
taken to the field:
• A blank Camera Trap Point Form to record information for the new points
for the camera traps that need to be relocated, and
• A TEAM-approved GPS unit.
6.3 General Field-planning Meeting
The crew leader should meet with the field technicians to plan the deployment of
camera traps in the field. Because camera traps are being taken to points that
have already been established, much less time and effort should be needed to
deploy the camera traps. Nevertheless, follow the general guidelines in Section
4.2.6, recognizing differences in the effort and number of temporary camps
needed to successfully deploy the camera traps. In general, the crew should aim
to finish this process in 5–7 days of intensive field work.
6.4 Deployment of Camera Traps in the Field
The crew should follow the guidelines outlined in Section 4.3.3, assuming the
points do not need to be relocated. If the points need to be moved from their
original established location follow these steps:
Use of a GPS
is required
1. Establish and geo-reference the new point. Find a new location as close
as possible to the original location and geo-reference it. Follow all the
steps in Sections 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.
2. Mark this point with a new camera trap point ID. Use the old camera trap
point ID, followed by a dot (“.”) and a sequential numeral. For example,
if the camera trap point ID that needs to be relocated is CT-CX-3-23,
then the new camera trap point ID will be CT-CX-3-23.1. If this camera
trap point ID needs to be moved again in a future season, then keep
increasing the number after the “.” (e.g., CT-CX-3-23.2). Write this ID on
44
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
a blank aluminum tag and affix or nail it to the tree where the camera
trap will be mounted.
3. Fill in all the relevant information. Fill in all the information in the Camera
Trap Point Field Form. When returning from the field this information will
need to be transcribed and uploaded to the TEAM data repository (even if
it is only for one point).
6.5 Return to the Base Camp
When returning to the base camp, follow all the steps in Section 4.4. If new
camera trap points were established, immediately transcribe the information from
the Camera Trap Point Field Form to the Camera Trap Point Excel Worksheet and
upload this information to the TEAM data repository (follow all steps in Section
4.4).
6.6 Pick Up the Cameras and Redeploy to New Locations
After camera traps have completed their sampling time (30 days) in the first set of
points deployed, they need to be picked up, memory cards collected, and camera
traps redeployed to the remaining set of points (if any). Follow all the steps in
Sections 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, and 4.8.
Data
entry/upload
6.7 Data Processing and Upload
Follow all steps in Section 4.10 to appropriately process the data from the first
camera trap array and upload all data to the TEAM data repository. Do this as
soon as memory cards return from the field to the laboratory. Do not wait until all
camera trap points have been sampled to process and upload the data.
6.8 Last Field Trip of the Season
After the sampling time of the second (or third) camera trap array has been
completed, plan a last field trip to pick up the camera traps and collect all
memory cards. Follow Sections 4.11.1 and 4.11.2.
6.9 Equipment Check-in and Storage
Follow all steps in Sections 4.11.3 and 4.11.4 to check in and properly store all
the equipment.
45
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
7 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATE PROTOCOL
Role
Site Manager
Field Crew Leader
Technicians
TEAM Regional Manager
TEAM Remote Sensing Specialist
TEAM Information Systems Manager
TEAM Technical Director
Responsibilities
• Prepare and submit deployment plan and sampling design
• Assemble deployment crew
• Approve equipment for field deployment
• Upload spatial location of camera trap points
• Maintain and oversee equipment
• Upload data and photographs
• Maintain backups for field forms and digital data
• Prepare camera trap points that need to be moved
• Supervise proper equipment check-in and storage
• Supervise equipment preparation and calibration
• Convey planning meetings before field deployment
• Establish camera trap points
• Record spatial location of camera trap points
• Supervise setting up of camera traps in the field
• Supervise and train technicians to transcribe data from
field forms
• Supervise and train technicians to examine and recalibrate
equipment
• Prepare and calibrate equipment
• Complete camera trap checklist
• Implement field work to establish, deploy, and collect
camera traps
• Transcribe information from field forms to Excel templates
• Process photographs and transfer memory card data to
computer
• Create backups of all data (digital and paper)
• Examine and recalibrate equipment
• Adequately process damaged camera traps
• Prepare camera traps for storage
• Evaluate protocol implementation through periodic site
visits
• Ensure original field forms and backups are properly
stored
• Ensure all digital data are properly backed up
• Answer questions about protocol implementation
• Ensure data comply with TEAM minimum data standards
• Ensure all TEAM personnel read and sign the TEAM Data
Use Policy
• Evaluate deployment plan and sampling design
• Evaluate all new camera trap points
• Ensure data comply with TEAM minimum data standards
• Evaluate deployment plan and sampling design
• Ensure consistent protocol implementation at the site
• Revise protocol documents and communicate changes
• Evaluate site changes in initial planned sampling
schedules
46
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
8 EQUIPMENT LIST
Item
Camera Trap
Cable locks
Quantity
Manufacturer
Model
Supplier
Contact Info
32
Reconyx
RM45
Reconyx
http://www.recony
x.com
30
Master Lock
Phyton
Reconyx
http://www.recony
x.com
Flash
Memory
Store
Memory cards
60
SanDisk
1 GB Compact
Flash
C NiMH batteries—20
pack
18
Total Energy
C NiMH 5000
mAH
Battery.com
10
Vanson
BC1HU
Battery.com
Card reader
2
SanDisk
Imagemate 12in-1 USB reader
Flash
Memory
Store
Aluminum tags (box)
2
Forestry
Suppliers
79260
Forestry
Suppliers
Moisture control packets
60
Zorb-it
2-inch × 2-inch
packets
Zorb-it
Battery charger
http://www.flashmemorystore.com/
http://www.allbattery.com
http://www.allbattery.com
http://www.flashmemorystore.com/
http://www.forestr
y-suppliers.com
http://www.zorbit.com
47
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
9
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Camera trap. A piece of equipment installed in the field to automatically
take photographs of animals passing in front of it. The camera trap
consists of the camera, a control unit, a sensor and a memory card.
Camera trap array. A set of camera trap points (usually 20–30) distributed
at a density of 1 camera trap every 2 km2. All camera traps in the array
sample during the same 30-day period.
Camera trap checklist. A paper form to check the status and maintenance
records of camera traps before they are deployed in the field. A blank
camera trap checklist appears in Appendix A2.
Camera trap Excel file. A file in Microsoft Excel containing camera trap
data that can include camera trap point data, camera trap metadata,
photo data, and damaged camera trap data.
Camera trap Excel template. A blank Excel file with predetermined
worksheets and columns used to create camera trap Excel files.
Camera trap form. A form used in the field to record camera trap data
such as date and time the camera is set, camera trap number and serial
number, name of person setting up the camera trap, etc. A blank camera
trap form appears in Appendix A3.
Camera trap point. A particular point in space (latitude and longitude)
where the camera trap will be located during sampling.
Camera trap point form. A form used in the field to record camera trap
point information such as latitude and longitude of camera trap point,
date and time the camera trap point was geo-referenced, who collected
this information, with which equipment, etc. A blank camera trap point
form appears in Appendix A1.
Camera trap point ID. A unique code, assigned on the basis of a standard
convention to a particular camera trap point (i.e., the location, not the
camera trap itself). See Section 4.3.2 (and the Data Management
Protocol) for the specific convention TEAM uses to label camera trap point
IDs.
Control unit. An electronic board with a small central processor unit that
turns the camera on and off in response to a signal provided by the
sensor. The control unit can be programmed by a user to specify the level
of sensitivity to movement, the number of photographs the camera takes
when it is activated, etc.
Damaged camera trap form. A form used in the field to record
information about damaged camera traps such as nature of the damage,
camera trap serial number, etc. A blank damaged camera trap form
appears in Appendix A4.
Deployment plan. A plan describing when, where, and how the protocol
will be implemented at a specific TEAM site. The plan must contain the
proposed sampling design, including the proposed geo-spatial location of
each camera trap array, potential locations of the camera trap points
within each array, relevant geographic information system (GIS) layers
(shape files) for each array (e.g., topography, access, water drainages),
and a detailed chronogram of activities.
48
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
•
•
•
•
•
•
Field forms. Paper forms used to collect information about camera traps
and camera trap points. The Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol uses four field
forms: camera trap form, camera trap point form, damaged camera trap
form, and camera trap checklist.
Memory card. A small electronic card that stores the photographs taken by
the camera. The memory card must be installed inside the camera or the
camera will not record photographs; however, it can be temporarily
removed from the camera so that photographs can be transferred to the
TEAM Information Management System.
Motion sensor. A small device mounted in front of and on the outside of
the camera trap that detects movement within the area in front of the
camera. Signals from the motion sensor travel to the control unit, which in
turn, controls the camera.
Sampling cycle. A period of 30 days during which a set of camera traps is
active (sampling) in a given area.
Sampling design. Refers to the number of camera traps (sample size), their
locations (spatial distribution), the time of year and frequency of successive
sampling periods (temporal distribution), and the length of time the
cameras are deployed in the field during each sampling period (effort).
Sampling period. A specified period of time (e.g., week, month, climatic
season) during which all camera trap points are sampled. The TEAM
Terrestrial Vertebrate Monitoring Protocol has only one sampling period
per year (during the dry season, see below).
49
TEAM Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
10 BIBLIOGRAPHY
Henschel, P., and J. Ray. 2003. Leopards in African Rainforests: Survey and
Monitoring
Techniques.
WCS
Science
and
Exploration,
http://www.savingwildplaces.com/swp-home/swp-researchmethods.
Karanth, K.U., and J.D. Nichols. 1998. Estimation of tiger densities in India using
photographic captures and recaptures. Ecology 79 (8): 2852–2862.
Karanth, K.U., and J.D. Nichols. 2000. Ecological status and conservation of
tigers in India. Final Technical Report to the Division of International Conservation,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington D.C. and Wildlife Conservation
Society, New York. Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India.
Karanth, K.U., and J.D. Nichols. 2002. Monitoring tigers and their prey: A
manual for researchers, managers and conservationists in Tropical Asia. Centre
for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India.
Karanth, K.U. 1995. Estimating tiger (Panthera tigris) populations from cameratrap data using capture–recapture models. Biological Conservation 71: 333–338.
Maffei, L., E. Cuéllar, and A. Noss. 2004. One thousand jaguars (Panthera onca)
in Bolivia’s Chaco? Camera trapping in the Kaa-Iya National Park. Journal of
Zoology 262 (3): 295–304.
Otis, D.L., K.P. Burnham, G.C. White, and D.R. Anderson. 1978. Statistical
inference from capture data on closed populations. Wildlife Monographs 62: 1–
135.
Rexstad, E., and K.P. Burnham. 1991. User’s guide for interactive program
CAPTURE. Abundance estimation of closed populations. Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, Colorado.
Silver, S.C., L.E. Ostro, L.K. Marsh, L. Maffei, A.J. Noss, M.J. Kelly, R.B. Wallace,
H. Gomez, and G. Ayala. 2004. The use of camera traps for estimating wildlife
(Panthera onca) abundance and density using capture/recapture analysis. Oryx 38
(2): 148–154.
Wallace, R.B., H. Gomez, G. Ayala, and F. Espinoza. 2003. Camera trapping
capture frequencies for wildlife (Panthera onca) in the Tuichi Valley, Bolivia.
Mastozoologia Neotropical 10 (1): 133–139.
White, G.C., D.R. Anderson, K.P. Burnham, and D.L. Otis. 1982. Capturerecapture and removal methods for sampling closed populations. Los Alamos
National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
50
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
11 APPENDIX A1. CAMERA TRAP POINT FORM
51
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
12 APPENDIX A2. CAMERA TRAP CHECKLIST
52
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
13 APPENDIX A3. CAMERA TRAP FORM
53
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
54
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
14 APPENDIX A4. DAMAGED CAMERA TRAP FORM
55
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
56
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol – 3.0
15
APPENDIX A5. INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR RECONYX RM45
57
Table of Contents
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
Camera Overview ................................................................... 1
Battery & Memory Card Installation ..................................... 4
Initial Setup & Programming ................................................. 9
Mounting & Aiming Your Camera ....................................... 15
General Information ............................................................. 18
Troubleshooting ................................................................... 19
Warranty & Safety Information............................................ 22
Copyright & Trademark Information................................... 25
© RECOYX, LLP
Camera Overview
Congratulations on purchasing a RECONYX camera. RECONYX has been
the leader in digital wildlife cameras since 2003. Your RapidFire™ camera
includes a state-of-the-art digital camera, an integrated Passive InfraRed
(PIR) motion detector, and a night time infrared illuminator all contained in a
secure, rugged, and weather-resistant case.
Whether you are using the camera for scouting deer or studying wildlife, you
will quickly find that using the RapidFireTM camera in conjunction with
MapView or BuckView software will be one of your most valuable tools in
gathering and analyzing data.
Thank you for putting your trust in us!
Contents of this package
1.
RapidFireTM Game Camera & Software
•
RM45, RC55, or RC60
•
BuckView™ Image management software
or RapidFireTM Professional Camera & Software
•
PM75, PC85, or PC90
•
MapView Image Management Software
2.
Adjustable bungee cord for mounting camera.
3.
This instruction manual.
www.reconyx.com
1
Camera Comparison
2
Cameras &
Specifications
RC55 & PC85
RM45 & PM75
RC60 & PC90
Images
Day: 3.1 MP
color images
Night: 3.1 MP
monochrome
images
Day and Night:
1.3 MP
monochrome
images
Day: 3.1 MP
color images
Night: 3.1 MP
monochrome
images
InstaOn™
Trigger Speed
1/5 second
1/10 second
1/5 second
RapidFire™
NearVideo™
Up to 1 frame
per second
Up to 2 frames
per second
Up to 1 frames
per second
Capacity with
2 GB card
3000 to 5,000
images
10,000 to
15,000 images
3000 to 5,000
images
Range at night
50 to 60 feet
50 to 60 feet
30 to 35 feet
© RECOYX, LLP
BUCKVIEW™
Included with your game camera (RM45, RC55, RC60) is BuckView
mapping and image management software. BuckView offers you the ability
to geographically organize and access your images, helping you to pattern
and better understand animal movements and behaviors. Refer to the
BuckView User Guide, accessible within the software, for more information.
BuckView requires a personal computer running either Windows XP® or
Windows Vista®.
MapView Professional
Included with your professional camera (PM75, PCC85, PC90) is MapView
Professional software that offers you the ability to geographically organize
and access your images. It also supports data analysis with user-defined
metadata and export capabilities and allows you to change the advanced
settings on your Professional Camera. MapView requires a personal
computer running either Windows XP® or Windows Vista®.
www.reconyx.com
3
Battery & Memory Card Installation
Removing and Replacing the Camera’s Cover
Before installing batteries or a memory card, you need to remove the
camera’s cover. To do this, open the clasp at the bottom of the camera using
the thumb grip in the middle of the bottom edge. Then, lift the cover from the
bottom, rotating it upward until you can remove it from the camera.
To replace the camera’s cover, insert the cover along the bottom edge of the
camera’s faceplate and rotate it downward until it’s flush with the camera.
Snap the clasp, pressing firmly in the middle of the clasp, to secure the
cover.
It’s good practice to make sure the gasket and camera lenses are clean
each time you open and close your camera.
4
© RECOYX, LLP
Battery Specifications and Installation
Your RECONYX RapidFireTM camera runs on six C-cell batteries (Alkaline,
Nickel Metal Hydride (rechargeable), or 3V Lithium (in Professional models
only). Batteries load vertically (three on each side) into the two battery trays.
Note: Be sure to load batteries in the proper orientation (positive end in first).
Warning! Do not mix battery types!
Damage to the camera can result and your warranty will be voided if you mix
battery types.
Alkaline batteries work well at temperatures above freezing. If you want to
use your camera when the weather turns cold, you should get a set or two of
NiMH rechargeable batteries. They will run your camera at temperatures
down to -20°F or colder. With the Professional model, Lithium C-Cell
batteries work very well down to -40°F. You can purchase NiMH
rechargeable batteries and chargers at www.reconyx.com.
www.reconyx.com
5
Because camera settings, animal activity, and temperature all vary, there is
no way to precisely predict a camera’s run time, the total number of images
that can be taken, or the temperature at which the camera will operate on
any given set of batteries. Therefore the following table shows approximate
values to be used as a guide in determining what type of batteries will best
suit your needs.
Operating
Temperature
Run Time
Alkaline
(disposable)
20º F (-7º C)
6 – 12 weeks
10,000 to
20,000 or
more
Nickel-Metal
Hydride
(rechargeable)
-20º F (-29º C)
4 – 8 weeks
7,500 to
15,000 or
more
Lithium (3V)
(disposable)
-40º F (-40º C)
8 – 16 weeks
15,000 to
30,000 or
more
C Battery Type
(supported in
Professional
models only)
and above
and above
and above
Number of
Images
TIP: AA batteries can also be used in your RapidFire camera – provided
you use AA to C-Cell battery adapters. Since AA’s and C-Cells are the same
length, you can run AA’s in your camera with these adapters. Check
www.reconyx.com for a set of adapters that will allow you to do this. Be
aware that run time with AA’s will not be as long as with C-Cells.
6
© RECOYX, LLP
CompactFlash® (CF) Card Specifications and Installation
The CompactFlash (CF) card is used to store the pictures your camera
captures. These images may be transferred to your computer using standard
image viewing software or RECONYX MapView or BuckView™ mapping
and image management software.
Inserting and Removing the CompactFlash Card
Insert CF card as shown. Make sure the orientation is correct and that
the card is aligned properly. Then press gently to seat the card in the
holder.
To change CF cards in the field:
1.
Press <OK> to disarm (the camera will then show you status)
2.
Turn the power off.
3.
Remove the card by pulling it straight out of the receiver port.
4.
Insert the new CompactFlash card into the receiver slot under the
control buttons as shown.
5.
The card must be inserted face up with the connecting ports in
first.
Note: Always disarm and turn the power off before removing or inserting the
CompactFlash card.
www.reconyx.com
7
CompactFlash cards have various speeds and capacities. Larger capacity
cards are capable of storing more images. The following table shows
approximate number of images for a 2GB CF card.
Camera /
Capacity
RC55 &
PC85
RM45 &
PM75
RC60 &
PC90
Capacity
with
2 GB card
3000 to
5,000
images
10,000 to
15,000
images
3000 to
5,000
images
TIP: We recommend that you purchase two CF cards per camera so that
you can swap cards in the field. SanDisk cards have worked well for us. You
can purchase RECONYX certified CF cards at www.reconyx.com.
Cards with higher speed ratings are capable of reading and writing images
faster. This is advantageous when taking RapidFireTM NearVideoTM
sequences of images.
8
© RECOYX, LLP
Initial Setup & Programming
With the CF card inserted in the camera, turn your camera on using the
On/Off switch. If this is the first time you’ve used your camera, it will
automatically display the Date/Time setup change option, beginning with
Enter Year.
Press the << and >> buttons to set the date (year, month, and day) and time
(hour and minute); press the OK button after each part of the date and time
are correct.
Your RECONYX RapidFireTM camera comes pre-programmed with factory
default settings. By default the camera will take 3 pictures per trigger with a
1 second pause between pictures and no delay between triggers.
If you wish to change your camera’s settings you can do so easily in the field
at any time. Changes are made using the control buttons and display that
are located under the Removable Cover. Once you make selections, they
are retained by the camera – even when the camera is off and the batteries
are removed – so that you don’t need to make selections again unless you
want to change something.
If you purchased a Professional model camera you can use the MapView
software to access additional features that are only available on the
professional series cameras. See the MapView User’s Guide for more
information.
www.reconyx.com
9
RAPIDFIRE™ PROGRAMMING MENU
10
© RECOYX, LLP
Your camera includes three major levels of options: Main menus, Change
Setup menus, and Selection options. As with the date and time, you can
move through any of these menus and options by pressing the << and >>
buttons; the >> button displays menus and options in order, and the <<
button reverses the order. When the menu or option you want to select is
displayed, press the OK button.
The display area above the <<, >>, and OK buttons includes two lines of
information. The top line generally displays the menu, setting, or option you
are currently accessing; after you make a selection, it may also display
additional information. The bottom line displays the available selections for
the menu, setting, or option displayed in the top line. Selections you can
choose from are always displayed in highlighted text, within single brackets.
You can change your camera settings any time you like, either prior to using
the camera or in the field. Likewise, you can switch CompactFlash cards as
needed, and check the remaining space on your CF card as well as your
remaining battery power.
Main Menu
Arm Camera – When you select this option, your camera arms in ten
seconds, unless you cancel it before the countdown is complete. If you
forget to arm the camera it will automatically arm itself after 2 minutes.
WalkTest – When you select this option, your camera flashes an indicator
light so that you can test its aim by walking in front of it. The WalkTest mode
www.reconyx.com
11
shows you exactly where the camera’s active motion detection zones are
located. The tilt of the camera is critical, as slight changes are magnified at
greater distances from the camera. The camera will arm itself if left in
WalkTest mode (after 2 minutes with no triggering events). This allows you
to set the camera up, check its aim using WalkTest, and then just walk away.
Erase Card – When you select this option, your camera wipes your entire
CF card clean, removing all images and other information from the card. You
should not select Erase Card unless you are absolutely certain you want to
remove everything from the card.
Check Status – When you select this option, your camera displays the
number of pictures it has taken, the percent of space remaining on your CF
card, and the percent of battery power remaining.
Camera Info – When you select this option, your camera displays its
firmware version number (V) and serial number (S). You may need this
information when contacting RECONYX with questions about your camera.
Change Setup – Allows you to change the way your camera functions.
Note: default settings are shown in RED CAPITAL letters. Professional
series cameras have additional settings that can be programmed
(configured) using the MapView software on your PC (see additional notes
below).
QuickSet – When Change Setup is selected the QuickSet options are
displayed (TRAIL, Scrape, Feeder, and Advanced). This allows you to
quickly select pre-programmed settings that are optimized for particular
situations. Selecting Advanced takes you to the settings listed below.
The pre-programmed QuickSet settings are:
Trail – 3 pictures, 1 second interval, no quiet period
Scrape – 5 pictures, RapidFire, no quiet period
Feeder – 3 pictures, 5 second interval, 15 second quiet period
Trigger – Use this option to turn your camera’s motion sensor on or off,
select the sensitivity level of the PIR motion detector, set how many photos
you want your camera to take per trigger, the interval between pictures, and
12
© RECOYX, LLP
the quiet period (the time period after a trigger during which the camera will
not respond to motion events).
1.
Motion Sensor – ON, off
2.
Sensitivity - low, low/medium, medium, medium/high, HIGH, or
very high
3.
Pics Per Trigger – 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10
4.
Picture Interval – RapidFire, 1 SEC, 3 sec, 5 sec, or 10 sec
5.
Quiet Period – NO DELAY, 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, or 5 min
Time Lapse – Use this option to control your cameras time lapse
photography, select the starting and ending times, and the interval between
pictures taken.
1.
AM Period – on, OFF
2.
PM Period – on, OFF
3.
Time Lapse starting and ending times – one hour increments
4.
Interval between pictures – 1, 5, 15, or 30 minutes, 1 hour
Images – Use this option to adjust the night time exposure, set the
resolution, and the temperature scale.
1.
Night Mode – DEFAULT, high quality, fast shutter
•
Default - best combination to balance image quality, shutter
speed and flash range
•
High Quality - higher quality images, reduced flash range
•
Fast Shutter - reduced blur on fast moving objects, lower
image quality
2.
Resolution – HIGH, low
3.
Temperature Scale – FAHRENHEIT, Celsius
Date/Time – Use this option to select the date (year, month, and day), time
(hour and minute).
www.reconyx.com
13
CodeLoc™ – Use this option to add a four-digit security code to prevent
unauthorized use of your camera, or change or remove an existing code.
User Label – Use this option to add a label (up to 16 characters) that will be
included with all photos taken by your camera. You can also view, change,
or clear an existing label.
Use Defaults – Use this option to remove any changes you’ve made to your
camera’s settings and restore the factory default settings (shown above in
RED CAPITAL letters).
Main Menu – Use this option to switch back to the Main menu options; see
preceding page for more information.
Programming RapidFire Professional Cameras with MapView
There are many more set-up options available for the Professional model
cameras when using MapView. See your MapView User Guide for details
on the additional setup options.
When you do program (configure) your Professional cameras using
MapView, your camera will display “SAVING PRO CONFIG” when you boot
the camera with the CF card used to program it. The camera will remember
these settings even when shut off, so you do not need to reprogram the
camera unless you want to change its behavior.
If you are using a Pro Config and you go into the Change Setup option using
the camera’s menu, it will prompt you with PRO CONFIG with options of GO
BACK or CONTINUE. If you continue, the settings from your PRO CONFIG
from the PC will be overwritten with the settings you select on the camera.
Your new MapView software is still fully compatible with our older Silent
Image PM35 and RM30 series cameras. You can program old and new
cameras as well as import, view, tag, and export image data from the new
RapidFire Professional series cameras and the older Silent Image cameras.
Tip: Setting the date and time on the new RapidFire Professional cameras is
easier to do right on the camera than it is through the MapView software.
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Mounting & Aiming Your Camera
Your RECONYX RapidFireTM camera can be mounted to a RECONYX
VersaMount™ (see www.reconyx.com for more information) or a camera
tripod by utilizing the threaded insert on the back of the camera housing.
It may also be mounted to a tree by using the included adjustable bungee
cord (shown below). It is highly recommended that you use a theft
deterrent device such as a cable and lock to help secure your camera
against possible theft when it is in the field. Theft deterrent cables and locks
are available from RECONYX (see www.reconyx.com to order).
Mounting Camera with Adjustable Bungee Cord (included)
TIP: We recommend that you mount your camera about chest height and
angle it slightly downward. This is optimal for detecting animals in the field
of view of the camera as well as for accessing the camera’s card, batteries,
and controls. If you are concerned about the slight red glow of the non-covert
illuminator spooking animals, you can mount the camera a bit higher and
angle it down a little more. Most animals do not often look up and therefore
are less likely to notice the camera if it is mounted a few feet higher.
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Aiming the Camera
Walktest Mode
Learning to use the Walktest mode is critical to being as successful as
possible with your RECONYX camera. The Walktest mode allows you to
precisely determine your camera’s active motion detection zones – insuring
your camera is aimed exactly where you want to capture animal activity.
All RECONYX cameras will self-arm from Walktest mode after a two minute
period during which they do not detect motion.
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Optional Locking Methods (not included)
Python™ style lock
Standard cable and lock
RECONYX sells an array of accessories for securing your camera and
protecting your investment. From Heavy Duty bear boxes to Python locks.
Please see www.reconyx.com for more on security accessories.
www.reconyx.com
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General Information
Image Data
Your RECONYX RapidFireTM camera stores Image Data along with every
picture it takes. Some of this information (date, time, trigger and sequence
information, the infrared illuminator “flash” indicator, moon phase,
temperature, and camera label) is displayed in Image Data bands above and
below the image.
An “M” in the top data band indicates a motion event. “1/3” indicates the first
in a sequence of three pictures for that event. If, instead, you see a “T” at
the top of the image, this indicates a Time-Lapse event/picture.
(new moon),
Phases of the moon displayed in the image bands include:
(waxing crescent),
(first quarter),
(waxing gibbous),
(full moon),
(waning gibbous),
(last quarter), and (waning crescent). Any time
the infrared illuminator is used, (the infrared illuminator “flash” indicator)
appears in the Image Data bands.
There is a lot more Image data stored within the image itself that is
accessible using either MapView or BuckView. The additional image data
includes serial number, firmware version info, illuminator status, battery
voltage and so on.
MapView (Professional) users can also define their own metadata keyword
fields and values to tag image data for export and further analysis.
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Troubleshooting
For answers to questions about your RECONYX RapidFireTM camera that
you cannot find in this Instruction Manual, please check the RECONYX web
site (www.reconyx.com).
Firmware Updates
You should also periodically check the RECONYX web site for firmware
updates for your camera. We periodically release firmware updates with
new features and/or performance enhancements. Updating firmware on the
RapidFire series cameras takes just a few seconds, and is well worth the
effort to ensure your camera is performing at the highest level possible.
Troubleshooting your camera
Focus Problems
If your images appear cloudy or out of focus, first consider whether there
was snow or frost on the camera lens; you may wish to check your camera
after a fresh snowfall to be sure the lenses are not covered with snow. Next,
check the lenses for dirt and water spots, and gently clean your lenses with a
clean soft cloth and lens cleaner.
If you find that you are having issues with condensation inside the camera,
you can use desiccant packs to absorb any moisture that is in the air that
gets trapped inside the camera. Rechargeable desiccant packs are
available on our web site (www.reconyx.com).
False Triggers
If you seem to be getting false triggers, the first thing to do is put your
camera back to default settings and try your camera again. This will ensure
that you are running with known settings – with the motion detector ON at
HIGH sensitivity and with Time-Lapse turned OFF.
If, after going back to default setting, you still seem to be getting false
triggers, check the physical setup of your camera: the sun should not be
shining directly on the face of the camera, and the camera’s field of view
should be cleared of as much moving vegetation as possible. False triggers
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most often occur on sunny ,breezy days. Vegetation will soak up the sun’s
energy and it will becomes warmer than the ambient air temperature. Then,
when the wind moves the vegetation, the camera sees this and cannot
distinguish it from a warm blooded animal moving in the scene. For this
reason, careful placement and setup of your camera helps prevent false
triggers.
Only as a last resort should you turn down your camera’s motion sensitivity;
this reduces your ability to detect movement of warm-blooded animals,
especially during the summer.
Camera Not Triggering on Animals
The first thing to do is put the camera back to Default settings and try your
camera again. This will ensure that you are running with known settings – it
will turn the motion detector ON at HIGH sensitivity.
If, after going back to default settings, you are still having trouble, please
refer to pages 15 and 16 for detailed information on Mounting and Aiming
Your Camera, as well as using the WalkTest mode. Keep in mind that most
animals are not 6ft tall, so when you use the WalkTest mode, do not just
walk by the camera in a full upright stance. The camera may be triggering
on your upper torso or head and not on your legs (where most animals are
likely to be). There is an inactive zone (see side-view photo on page 16) that
you need to be aware of so that you don’t aim the inactive zone precisely on
a trail – if you do, you will not pick up animal activity on the trail.
It is important to keep in mind that there are other factors can also affect the
ability of your camera to detect motion. Wind can have a detrimental effect.
Body heat from an animal can be quickly dispersed away from the animal on
a breezy day, making it more difficult for the camera to detect the animal.
Also movement directly toward and away from the camera is less likely to
trigger the camera than side-to-side movement. And, finally, if an animal is
moving very slowly, it will sometimes not produce a strong enough signal
within the sensor to trigger the camera.
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CF Card Problems
If your camera won’t start up properly and/or displays a CF card error, try a
different CF card. If the problem persists, you may have to try a different
brand of CF card. We have found that some of the cheap CF cards are very
slow (even if they say they are fast) and do not always run well in our
camera. Note: SanDisk® CF cards are the RECONYX recommended brand
for use with your camera.
Cold Weather Problems
If your camera shuts down in the cold, it may be too cold for the batteries.
Refer to the battery chart on page 6 of this manual for recommended
operating temperatures for various battery types. Alkaline batteries do not
run well in the cold.
Other Battery Questions
If you charged your NiMH batteries and they only read 88%, it is because
rechargeable batteries do not reach a full 1.5 volts - even when fully
charged. This is normal. NiMH batteries have a very flat discharge curve.
What this means is they run a long time without dropping much in voltage
until they reach a point, around the fifty to sixty percent level, where they will
drop off very quickly. For this reason it is good to recharge your NiMH
batteries when they get down into the sixty percent range.
Alkaline batteries will normally read 99% when new and will run down to mid
teens or so – except when cold. When alkalines get cold, their % will drop
dramatically, even if they are brand new. You will notice that as your
Alkaline batteries run down, your night time range will decrease a bit as well.
When you notice this happening, it is a good idea to change the batteries.
Other
If you have read this manual and checked our web site, and you still need
assistance, please contact us at 866-493-6064 or e-mail at
[email protected]
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Warranty & Safety Information
Limited Warranty
RECONYX hardware products are warranted for one (1) year. If during this period,
through normal use, a hardware product becomes defective due to defects in
materials or workmanship, RECONYX will either repair or replace the product. This
warranty is void if a product failure results from accident, abuse, improper use by
Buyer, disassembly, or unauthorized maintenance and repair.
Software products are licensed to Buyer under the terms of the applicable RECONYX
software license (contained within installation programs). If Buyer wishes to review the
software license agreement before purchasing products from RECONYX, a copy of
the software license may be obtained by request.
Buyer must obtain a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number from RECONYX
before returning any product(s) for repair or replacement. If RECONYX concludes that
a returned product is not defective, Buyer will be notified, the product will be returned
to Buyer at Buyer’s expense, and Buyer may be charged for RECONYX’s examination
and testing of the product.
This limited warranty is the sole warranty for hardware and software products offered
by RECONYX and RECONYX shall not be liable for any amounts for said products
except in compliance with this warranty.
Safety Precautions
Before using the camera, please ensure that you read and understand the following
safety precautions. Always ensure that the camera is operated correctly.
The safety precautions noted in this guide are intended to instruct you in the safe and
correct operation of the camera and its accessories to prevent injuries or damage to
yourself, other persons, and equipment.
Preventing Malfunction
Avoid Strong Magnetic Fields
Never place the camera in close proximity to electric motors or other equipment
generating strong electromagnetic fields. Exposure to strong magnetic fields may
cause malfunctions or corrupt image data.
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Avoid Condensation
Moving the camera rapidly between hot and cold temperatures may cause
condensation (water droplets) to form on its external and internal surfaces. You can
avoid this by placing the camera in an airtight, resealable plastic bag and letting it
adjust to temperature changes slowly before removing it from the bag.
If Condensation Forms Inside the Camera
Stop using the camera immediately if you detect condensation inside the camera.
Continued use may damage the camera. Remove the CF card and batteries from the
camera and wait until the moisture evaporates completely before resuming use.
Warnings
• Store this equipment out of the reach of children and infants. Accidental damage to
the camera or batteries by a child could result in serious injury.
• Be particularly careful to keep the date (coin) battery used in the camera away from
children. Seek medical assistance immediately if a child swallows a battery.
• Do not allow water or other liquids to enter the interior of the camera. The interior
has not been waterproofed. If the exterior comes into contact with liquids or salt air,
wipe it dry with a soft, absorbent cloth. In the event that water or other foreign
substances enter the interior, immediately turn the camera’s power off and remove
the camera batteries. Continued use of the equipment may result in fire or electrical
shock. Please consult your camera distributor or the closest RECONYX Customer
Support Help Desk.
• Use of power sources not expressly recommended for this equipment may lead to
overheating, distortion of the equipment, fire, electrical shock, or other hazards. Use
only the recommended power accessories. Any use of non-RECONYX power
sources will void the warranty on your camera.
• Do not mix battery types. You may run your camera on Alkaline, Lithium (Pro model
only!), or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), but you should NEVER MIX BATTERY
TYPES! Damage to the camera can result and your warranty will be voided if you
do so.
• Do not place the batteries near a heat source, expose them to direct flame or heat,
or immerse them in water. Such exposure may damage the batteries and lead to
the leakage of corrosive liquids, fire, electrical shock, explosion, or serious injury.
• Do not attempt to disassemble, alter, or apply heat to the batteries. There is serious
risk of injury due to an explosion. Immediately flush with water any area of the body
or clothing that comes into contact with the inner contents of a battery. If the eyes or
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
mouth contact these substances, immediately flush with water and seek medical
assistance.
Avoid dropping or subjecting the batteries to severe impacts that could damage the
casings. It could lead to leakage and injury.
Do not short-circuit the battery terminals with metallic objects, such as key holders.
It could lead to overheating, burns, and other injuries.
Use of batteries not expressly recommended for this equipment may cause
explosions or leaks, resulting in fire, injury, and damage to the surroundings. Use
only recommended batteries and accessories.
Avoid using, placing, or storing the equipment in places subject to strong sunlight or
high temperatures, such as the dashboard or trunk (boot) of a car. Exposure to
intense sunlight and heat may cause the batteries to leak, overheat or explode,
resulting in fire, burns or other injuries. High temperatures may also cause
deformation of the casing.
Be careful not to bang the camera or subject it to strong impacts or shocks that
could lead to injury or damage the equipment.
When using desiccant, the following precautions should be followed: Keep out of
reach of children, do not eat, and do not inhale desiccant dust. If the desiccant
packet tears or breaks, wash your hands if they come in direct contact with the
desiccant. Desiccant may cause eye, skin, and mucous membrane irritation.
Prolonged inhalation may cause lung damage. Asthma can be aggravated by
exposure to desiccant.
If you know or suspect desiccant has been ingested, seek medical assistance for
further treatment, observation, and support if necessary. For eye contact, flush with
water for at least 15 minutes. For skin contact, wash affected area with soap and
water. For inhalation of desiccant dust, move affected person into an environment
with fresh air. For accidental ingestion, drink at least two glasses of water.
Check your state/local laws concerning the use of this product.
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© RECOYX, LLP
Copyright & Trademark Information
RapidFireTM Instruction Manual Copyright March 2008
RECONYX , LLP, 3828 Creekside Lane, Suite 2, Holmen, WI 54636
This manual provides detailed instructions for getting started with the
RECONYX RapidFireTM and RapidFireTM Professional IR cameras, changing
the camera settings, and troubleshooting common problems.
RapidFire™ is a trademark of RECONYX.
Other trademarks and registered trademarks referred to in this document:
• BuckView™, CodeLoc™, InstaOn™, NearVideo™, LFT™, and
VersaMount™are trademarks of RECONYX.
• CompactFlash® is a registered trademark of the CompactFlash
Association.
• SanDisk® is a registered trademark of SanDisk Corporation.
• Windows XP® and Windows Vista® are registered tradekmarks of
Microsoft Corporation.
All other trademarks and copyrights referred to are the property of their
respective owners.
Python® locks are a product of Master Lock®.
www.reconyx.com
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RECONYX, LLP
3828 Creekside Lane, Suite 2
Holmen, WI 54636
866-493-6064
www.reconyx.com
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